News outlets including Politico and The Washington Post were able to access eight damning emails former Trump attorney and “coup memo” author John Eastman (photo, Jan. 6) tried to keep from the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack because public court documents included an active link to a Dropbox file they were stored in.
Those emails reveal Trump’s attorneys crafting a scheme that they appeared to believe U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would agree to use to block certification of the 2020 presidential election results, even just temporarily, to allow the public to doubt the results were legitimate. Some interpreted the emails to suggest that Justice Thomas, whose far-right activist spouse Ginni Thomas actively worked to overturn the election, was somehow amenable to their plot. There is no indication he was involved.
That stunning development of how news outlets were able to read and publish the emails was reported by Politico’s Kyle Cheney, who posted a letter sent by the House General Counsel to the Clerk of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It reads:
“It has come to our attention this morning that some media outlets have been able to access the Dropbox link that counsel for Dr. Eastman created to share documents with the Select Committee and that was included in the attachments to the brief we filed with the Court last night in response to Dr. Eastman’s emergency motion.”
“We were not aware that the links in Dr. Eastman’s email remained active, and had no intention to provide this type of public access to the materials at this stage. Providing public access to this material at this point was purely inadvertent on our part,” the letter explains.
“We have communicated this information to counsel for Dr. Eastman so that they can deactivate the links going forward.”
As some have noted, similar errors have been made that resulted in damning evidence being made public.
In late September attorneys for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones accidentally sent to opposing counsel – the lawyers for Sandy Hook families – what he was told on the stand were “an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years.”