Recently, a document has emerged showing how conservative lawyer John Eastman “tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence that he could overturn the election results on January 6 when Congress counted the Electoral College votes by throwing out electors from seven states,” as summarized by CNN. A memo in which Eastman made those arguments has been denounced by some as a “blueprint for a coup,” and broadly, the document aptly summarizes the desperation and disconnection from reality on the part of those who feverishly pushed for Trump to stay in office. Trump supported Eastman’s efforts, even directly advocating on Eastman’s behalf to Pence at one point.
Directly asked on MSNBC this week whether the House’s riot investigation committee is “investigating a conspiracy to commit a coup,” committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) replied as follows:
‘Yes… The predominant worry that I have about our democracy is not that it’s going to be overthrown by a violent revolution — notwithstanding that we endured a violent attempt at insurrection, but rather that there will be quasi-legal means that so undermine our democracy that it creates a crisis and it falls apart. This is what the Republicans tried to do, the Trump campaign and administration tried to do with this memo, but it’s also what GOP party leaders are trying to do around the country by stripping independent elections officials of their powers and handing them to partisan boards, so that they can succeed where they failed with this attempted coup. That is, if they can’t disenfranchise enough people, and they still lose, this gives them a chance through the patina of legality to overturn the results.’
Check out Schiff’s comments below:
The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack the U.S. Capitol is investigating the day as a coup attempt, Schiff says. pic.twitter.com/aCiiWWlm5a
— Bob Brigham (@BobBrigham) September 22, 2021
The memo from Eastman that has been widely circulated outlines a six-step plan that Pence could undertake in connection to the joint session of Congress meant for the certification of the presidential election results. The scheme went from Pence blocking the certification of electoral votes from certain states to the presidential election ending up in the House of Representatives, where Republicans could hand Trump a victory, since every state delegation gets one vote when deciding presidential elections in the House, and Republicans led 26 such delegations. Pence did not actually have the legal authority to undertake such a move.
Eastman has claimed in response to criticism that his memo simply “explored all options that had been proposed,” and as summarized by CNN, he told the network that in a “January 4 meeting he’d had in the Oval Office with Trump and Pence, he had told Pence he should only delay certifying votes in the seven states, not try to throw the election to Trump” — but delaying the certification of the presidential election results could have gotten the process sufficiently off-balance to hand Trump the election, so Eastman’s distinction is false.