To all those wondering: Yes, John Eastman’s lawyer knows its “risky” for his client to go on TV and blather about ongoing criminal proceedings against him. But he hasn’t advised him against it.
Eastman, a former attorney for Donald Trump and a co-defendant in the ex-president’s Georgia election interference indictment, spoke at length about the case in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham last week.
At one point, Eastman admitted he had asked Mike Pence to delay the certification of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, but insisted he never told the then-vice president to reject them.
Many legal experts and commentators viewed this as a confession that Eastman tried to impede the certification, said it was a bad choice to speak on national television about the indictment, and wondered why his legal team would allow him to do so.
On Wednesday, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked Eastman’s attorney, Charles Burnham, if he’s worried Eastman’s comments could be used by prosecutors.
“Have you advised him not to speak publicly?” she asked.
Burnham said they had decided to throw out the “typical defense playbook of hunkering down” and opted instead to speak openly about the case
“Our view is Dr. Eastman is innocent. He has nothing to hide. He’s clearly innocent. He was acting in his capacity as a lawyer and a law professor,” Burnham said.
“All the facts are more or less known. There’s not a lot of mystery here,” he added, noting that “we’ve made the decision that, risky though it certainly may be, to be as open as we can with” journalists and others asking about the case.
“So it is potentially risky for him to be speaking publicly, you think?” Collins asked.
“Oh, sure,” Burnham replied. “I think hopefully that shows to everyone how confident we are in our client’s case and how important we think it is, how important John Eastman thinks it is that these facts be presented to the public for their analysis.”
Some of the “facts” Eastman has presented have been verifiably false.
In his interview with Ingraham, he repeatedly insisted the 2020 election was rife with fraud, prompting pushback from even the Trump-allied Fox News host.
Eastman had also admitted in an email exchange obtained by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack that he knew delaying the count was unlawful.
Burnham insisted on CNN Wednesday that Eastman didn’t want to impede or obstruct the certification, just “impose a short delay,” which, as Collins noted, is basically the same thing.