Former Trump lawyer John Eastman pleaded his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and invoked attorney-client privilege Wednesday when he appeared before a Fulton County grand jury investigating attempts to influence the 2020 election in Georgia, his attorneys said.
“In his appearance before the Fulton County special grand jury, we advised our client John Eastman to assert attorney client privilege and the constitutional right to remain silent where appropriate,” the attorneys, Charles Burnham and Harvey Silverglate, said in a statement. “Out of respect for grand jury secrecy we will not disclose the substance of the questions or testimony. We wish to thank the grand jurors for their service.”
Eastman is among a group of former President Donald Trump’s allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who have been subpoenaed by the special grand jury in Fulton County.
Eastman, considered a key player in the former president and his allies’ unsuccessful attempts to reverse the 2020 presidential election results, has come under scrutiny for writing memos about how then-Vice President Mike Pence could try to overturn the results. Last year, a federal judge found that Trump and Eastman “likely” attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress called to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory Jan. 6, 2021.
Eastman also testified before Georgia legislators after the election, arguing that lawmakers had “more than enough” evidence of fraud to pick an alternate slate of presidential electors for the state, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month. The subpoena for Eastman said he “advised lawmakers that they had both the lawful authority and a ‘duty’ to replace the Democratic Party’s slate of presidential electors, who had been certified as the duly appointed electors for the state of Georgia after the November 2020 election, due to unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud within the state.”
The special grand jury was impaneled this year to assist Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into whether there were any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in Georgia.