The judge, David O. Carter of the Central District of California, did not weigh in at this time on the House’s accusation that Eastman and Trump engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to overturn the vote, but said he would write more extensively about the arguments in the case later.
For now, Carter said he would look at the 111 documents in dispute from Eastman’s Chapman University email account between January 4 and 7, 2021. Until now, those emails had been the subject of litigation but not disclosed — even to the judge.
Carter is positioned now to ultimately decide whether the House gets access to the emails — and he could also wade into the meatier questions of the significance of what the House has found in its investigation so far.
“As the Court has previously noted, the evidence suggests that communications from those days are essential to the Select Committee’s pressing investigation,” the judge wrote on Wednesday.
The decision is small step forward in the fast-moving lawsuit in which the House is seeking access to Eastman’s emails from Chapman University, his former employer, and Eastman is trying to protect his discussions about or with Trump and his presidential campaign.
This story is breaking and will be updated.