‘Well, It Is Correct’: CNN Legal Analyst Defends Argument Made By Lawyer For Trump’s Co-Defendant

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN legal analyst Elie Honig gave a partial defense Wednesday of the legal argument being used by a lawyer defending John Eastman, one of the 19 co-defendants in the Fulton County case.

Eastman is charged alongside 18 others – including former President Donald Trump – for allegedly playing a “key role” in the alleged scheme to send alternate state electors to Congress to “disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress” on Jan. 6, 2021, with the intention to alter the outcome of the 2020 election, CBS News reported. Eastman is accused of sending an email stating that “The Trump presidential elector nominees in Georgia needed to meet on December 14, 2020, sign six sets of certificates of votes, and mail them to ‘the President of the Senate and to other officials,'” according to the report.

Eastman’s lawyer, Harvey Silverglate, told CNN Tuesday night that his client was simply acting as a lawyer for Trump.

“His role was 100% that of a lawyer trying to come up with creative ideas that pushed the margin of the law in order to reverse the Electoral College count. So he’s unique. He is on trial for being a lawyer who was coming up with creative ideas.” (RELATED: ‘Get A Conviction Before The Election’: Legal Experts Weigh In On Georgia Trump Indictment)

“So he’s testing out a theory, pushing the boundaries, but not doing anything illegal. What is he trying to do here?” CNN’s Kate Bolduan asked Honig.

“Well, it is correct to say that bad lawyering is not a crime. Bad lawyering cannot be a crime. Aggressive lawyering, reaching for a legal argument, I mean, lawyers do that all the time and it would really be a problem if that was a crime,” Honig said.

“The problem with what we just heard Mr. Silverglate say is it sort of is an end run around what the prosecutors are alleging which is that he crossed the line, John Eastman crossed the line first of all by at one point allegedly submitting false information to a court knowingly and the other thing they allege is that he was a key player in the whole fake elector scheme, having people gather and falsely certify that they are the electors for Donald Trump and sending the documents into the archives. So the bad lawyering part is part of the story but I don’t think that is the crime. It should not be the crime and prosecutors have to prove something more than that.”


“What isn’t so clear is where that line – Is it clear to you where the line is?”

“Yeah I think the line is making a theory that’s aggressive or novel, look, losing 9-0 in the Supreme Court is not a crime. Making an argument that you believe will lose 9-0 in the Supreme Court, also not a crime. Your job as a lawyer is what’s the best argument I can make on my client’s behalf. And even if you make an argument that’s inappropriate, maybe you get sanctioned by the ethics bar of the court, but a criminal matter is a different thing. You have to show as a prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt conduct that was criminal and knowingly submitting false information to a court could go to that. Also, I mean, Mr. Silverglate just said the goal was to reverse the Electoral College. If you can prove that a lawyer was using the legal process to try to achieve an illegal end that can get you there, too.”

Eastman surrounded authorities Tuesday alongside co-defendant Scott Hall. Rudy Giuliani is surrounding to authorities Wednesday while the former president is slated to surrender Thursday.