(WHTM) – Pennsylvania State Representative Russ Diamond, a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, discussed possible methods to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election with former President Donald Trump’s attorney John Eastman leading up to January 6.
According to a report from Politico, emails released by the University of Colorado, where Eastman worked as a visiting professor, showed Rep. Diamond reaching out to Eastman regarding methods to potentially overturn Pennsylvania’s election.
According to Politico, the emails were “obtained via public records requests by the Colorado Ethics Institute, which sent them along to the Jan. 6 select committee last month.”
Eastman gained national attention for drafting a memo that falsely argued former Vice President Mike Pence could keep Trump in power by overturning the results of the election during a joint session of Congress convened to count electoral votes.
In an email sent by Rep. Diamond on December 4 from his official legislative email account, he says he found Eastman’s testimony on the 2020 election before Georgia’s State Senate to be “compelling.”
Rep. Diamond stated in the email “numerous other frustrated colleagues and I are searching for legislative solutions to our current national predicament.”
According to Politico, Eastman “urged Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to retabulate the state’s popular vote — and throw out tens of thousands of absentee ballots” to show a Trump victory.”
Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, which gave him enough electoral votes to win the 2020 election.
In the email thread, Eastman suggests to Diamond that Pennsylvania’s legislature could adopt a resolution affirming “what appears to have been the result of the popular vote untainted by the illegal votes.”
“For example, depending on how many ballots were counted that were received after the statutory deadline (say 10,000 for example’s purpose), those 10,000 votes need to be discarded, and you can take the absentee ballot ratio for each candidate in the counties were late-received ballots were illegally counted and deduct the pro-rated amount from each candidate’s total.”John Eastman to Russ Diamond on Dec. 4, 2020*
“Then, having done that math, you’d be left with a significant Trump lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors – perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote. That would help provide some cover,” said Eastman in the email thread.
The emails also contain what appears to be drafted legislation that, in part, “declares the November 3, 2020 election of presidential electors to be unlawful, and the results thereof null and void” and “declares that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law.”
The drafted legislation would have also appointed 20 pro-Trump electors to vote in the electoral college.
On December 20, Rep. Diamond thanked Eastman for his “work on this case,” to which Eastman replied he hoped would be “enough in there to shore up the spines of your colleagues.” Rep. Diamond responded, “God willing!”
In a Jan. 2, 2021 email, Rep. Diamond introduces Eastman to Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, the Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Rep. Diamond stated Eastman “is responsible for opening my eyes to our ability to exercise our plenary authority to decertify electors (without ANY “evidence of retail “voter fraud”) via testimony he provided to the Georgia Senate.”
There were no replies from Rep. Benninghoff in the 64 pages of emails published by Politico.
As highlighted by the New York Times, Rep. Diamond also wrote in an email to Eastman that “the Trump legal team was not exactly stellar at PA’s hearing, failed to provide the affidavits of their witnesses and made a glaring error by purporting that more ballots had been returned than mailed out.”
In a conversation with abc27 following the publication of the emails by Politico, Rep. Diamond say Eastman was “one of many people I interacted with” following the 2020 election and that he felt it was his duty to protect both the election system and the Commonwealth and U.S. Constitutions.
Rep. Diamond did not formally present the exact legislation drafted in the emails with Eastman but did refer abc27 to similar proposed legislation in 2020 and 2021. The legislation includes 2020-1084 which declares “the results of statewide electoral contests in the 2020 General Election to be in dispute.”
House Resolutions 7 and 8, both of which Rep. Diamond was the prime sponsor, stated in part that the Commonwealth “failed to appoint electors of President and Vice President” and would exercise “the plenary power of the General Assembly, under the Constitution of the United States, to appoint electors of President and Vice President.”
Rep. Diamond currently represents the 102nd Legislative District in Lebanon County.
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According to the Associated Press, Eastman was trying to withhold documents from the committee on the basis of an attorney-client privilege claim between him and the former president. The committee responded in March arguing that there is a legal exception allowing the disclosure of communications regarding ongoing or future crimes.
Charles Burnham, an attorney representing Eastman, said in a statement Monday that his client has a responsibility to his attorney-client privilege and his lawsuit against the committee “seeks to fulfill this responsibility.”
“It is not an attempt to ‘hide’ documents or ‘obstruct’ congressional investigations, as the January 6th committee falsely claims,” Burnham said.
Pennsylvania’s primary election, in which Diamond is running for Lt. Governor, is May 17.
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed a Dec. 4, 2020, email as being sent by Rep. Diamond to John Eastman. The Dec. 4 email was sent by John Eastman to Rep. Diamond. The attribution has been corrected.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report