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Clarence Thomas was ‘key’ to a plan to delay certification of 2020 election, Trump lawyers said in emails

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas attends the ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett to be the U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice on the South Lawn of the White House October 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Senate confirmed Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court today by a vote of 52-48. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A lawyer for former President Donald Trump described Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “key” to Trump’s plan to delay Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s victory through litigation after the 2020 election, according to emails recently turned over to the House select committee investigating January 6.

“We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue” a temporary order putting Georgia’s results in doubt, Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a December 31, 2020, email, adding that a favorable order from Thomas was their “only chance” to hold up Congress from counting electoral votes for Biden from Georgia.

John Eastman, another attorney for Trump, responded to that email saying he agreed with the plan. In the email exchanges with several other lawyers working on Trump’s legal team, they were discussing filing a lawsuit that they hoped would result in an order that “TENTATIVELY” held that Biden electoral votes from Georgia were not valid because of election fraud.

Having a case pending in front of the Supreme Court, Chesebro wrote, would be enough to prevent the Senate from counting Biden’s electors. Thomas would end up being “the key here,” Chesebro wrote, noting that Thomas is the justice assigned to dealing with emergency matters coming from the southeastern part of the county.

The email referencing Thomas was first reported by Politico. It is part of a tranche of emails the House has obtained from Eastman, under an order from a court, that are still subject of litigation before an appeals court. The emails were available through a link in a court filing submitted by the House committee early Wednesday.

US District Judge David Carter previously determined that the emails show evidence of potential criminal activity in Trump’s efforts to reverse his electoral loss, finding the Trump team was using litigation not to obtain court relief but to meddle with the congressional proceedings. Carter, in deciding last month that the emails should be released to the House committee, said that some of them showed evidence of obstruction of an official proceeding.

In a separate email, one of the lawyers, Chesebro, acknowledged their plans were a long shot, putting the odds of success at the Supreme Court before the January 6 congressional certification at “1%.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

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