Trump’s lawyer John Eastman said ‘courage and a backbone’ would help Pence send elections to Parliament in comments before January 6

Eastman made the comments, dug up by CNN’s KFile, in the radio show of former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Bannon on Jan. 2 – just two days before Eastman briefed both Pence and Trump on his controversial memo on how Pence could overthrow the election and only four days before January 6, when he spoke at the meeting that preceded the attack on the US capital.
CNN reported Tuesday that the House’s select committee, which is investigating Jan. 6, plans to sue Eastman if he chooses not to cooperate with its investigation.

Eastman’s note outlines a scenario in which Pence would disregard the Electoral College votes of seven states – and ensure that no candidate got the 270 Electoral College votes required to be declared the winner – thus throwing the election to the House. Each state delegation would then have had one vote to cast for president, and when Republicans controlled 26 state delegations, a majority could have voted for Trump to win the election.

Eastman claims the memo does not reflect his own views and called the scenario for Pence to reject electoral votes and therefore throw the election to Parliament that is not “viable” and “crazy” to pursue in comments to the National Review. He also told CNN that the memo was a draft.

In an interview with CNN, Eastman said his statements have been consistent and that he told Pence during their January 4 meeting that throwing the election to Parliament was “the weaker argument”, and in the end he did not advise it. .

“My statement on Bannon on January 2 acknowledges that this was one of the scenarios that was discussed. But the question that I presented to the Vice President when he asked me bluntly, I told him I said, ‘It is an open question, “which is true. And I said, “I happen to think that’s the weaker argument,” which is true. And that’s why I recommended he postpone instead of taking that step, “Eastman said.

After CNN pointed out that Eastman in Bannon’s radio program did not specify that the possibility of throwing the election to Parliament was the “weaker” option, Eastman replied, “That’s right. Because it was a radio program.”

“I did not go into a whole legal dissertation on the weights and disadvantages. I said, ‘It is these things, it is a few things that have been proposed.’ It was certainly one of the ways that had been proposed. of many people. Was that the advice I ultimately gave Pence? No, because I told him I thought it would be foolish to exercise it, even if he had that authority. “

Following the attack on the Capitol and before the memo was first reported last month, Eastman insisted that he call for a postponement or suspension of election certification, especially after the vice president issued a letter on January 6, in which he said that he could not submit to demands to postpone the election. or even overthrow the election.

But days before the January 6 election certification, Eastman suggested that Pence could do exactly what his memo outlined.

In the interview with Bannon, Eastman was pressured on whether a contingent election – a procedure used to elect the president if none of the candidates secured 270 election college votes – or another “alternative way” was possible to convince Pence to run for office. .

Eastman argued that a contingent election was one of two possible avenues.

“I think that if the Vice-President, as President of the Joint Session, would at least agree that because the ongoing competitions have not been resolved, we can not count these voters. That, that means no one has a majority of voters, “he said. “And either they delay things – so that the constitutional challenges are resolved – or they say, ‘OK, well, we do not have voters from those states that no one has a majority. This is going to Parliament’.”

“Every route requires us to look at what actually happened here and get to the bottom of it,” Eastman said.

The newly excavated comments come in heels of a video that has been posted by Democratic activist Laura Windsor, posing as a supporter and fan of Eastman’s to get him to talk to her. In the video, Eastman boasted of the importance of the memo he recently tried to downplay as a draft, and blamed Pence for not implementing it because he is an “establishment man.”

‘Courage and the spine’

In the January 2 interview with Bannon, Eastman suggested that if Pence had enough “courage and backbone,” he could overthrow the election.

“Should we assume this is going to be a climate fight?” asked Bannon.

“Well, I think a lot of it depends on the courage and the backbone of the people involved,” Eastman replied.

“When you just said courage and backbone,” Bannon said, “are you talking on the other side of football? Would you be, would you be, would it be a good way to say a guy named Mike, Vice President, Mike? Pence? ” asked Bannon.

“Yes,” Eastman replied.

Trump repeated Eastman’s rhetoric about courage when he spoke at the January 6 demonstration. “I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do,” Trump said.
In another January 4 radio interview – the same day that Eastman met with Pence to present options on how to overthrow the election – Eastman said there is a “very convincing” view that the vice president can cast his vote even if he do it. not make it clear what he wants – to delay or send to Parliament.

“So if someone just wanted to say that I do not like the results, even if they were done correctly, and there is no evidence of fraud, I do not like the results, as I want to certify my favorite list of voters. The political reaction to that would “be so serious and so fast, and no one would do it. And no one has done it for 150 years. But what we have here is a systematic violation of state laws by election officials,” Eastman said.

“This level of corruption just can not be allowed to continue. And I think it does, I think, it makes the exercise of the vice president’s power here very convincing,” he said.

In the interview with CNN, Eastman said he could not remember what he meant by the vice president’s power being “very convincing”, but reiterated that he believed the vice president had the power to delay the election and that to throw the election to Parliament was weaker by two arguments.

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