WASHINGTON – When a crowd attacked the Capitol and shouted “Hang Mike Pence,” the lawyer who planned with President Donald J. Trump and his allies trying to annul the 2020 election, sent a hostile message to the vice president’s top attorney accusing Mr. Pence of violence.
Email, reports The Washington Post and confirmed by a person familiar with its contents, shows the extent to which Mr. Trump and his advisers tried to put pressure on the vice president who chaired election confirmation to defy the will of the electorate and keep Mr. Trump. in the office.
“The siege is because YOU and your boss didn’t do what was necessary to allow this to be broadcast in a public way so Americans could see for themselves what happened,” attorney John Eastman wrote to Greg Jacob, Mr. Pence’s attorney general.
Mr. Pence and Mr. Jacob were in a secure room at the Capitol when Mr. Eastman sent the message, reports The Post. outside, rioters broke into the building where Congress met to confirm the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., erected gallows, chased President Nancy Pelosi, and forced MPs to evacuate to a scene of violence and destruction. Police found weapons, knives, tasers, Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and zippers in the area.
In Mr. Trump’s legal circle in 2020, Mr. Eastman rose from a little-known conservative academic to one of the most influential voices in the president’s ear and wrote a note describing the steps he claimed Mr. Pence could take to make Mr. Trump kept. power – measures Democrats and Republicans against Trump compared to a coup plan.
A two-page note written by Mr. Eastman and was in the White House in the days before certification, she was revealed in the Washington Post by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. In the letter, Mr. Eastman argued that as Vice President, Mr. Pence was the “ultimate arbiter” of the election, essentially saying that he had the power to determine who won, and that “we must take all our actions with this into mind.”
Mr Pence and his lawyers rejected this view as illegal and unethical.
Ever since his minutes were made public, Mr. Eastman tried to distance himself from its contents and argued that the document was taken out of context. He told the National Review it was a strategy it is not “feasible” and it would be “crazy” to pursue.
But an email to Mr. Jacob undermines those comments. Mr. Jacob wrote in the draft opinion that Mr. Eastman showed a “shocking lack of awareness” as “a group of bandits who were sold a lie that the vice president has the power to reverse the election result” stormed the Capitol.
“Vice President Pence rejected the false legal theories presented to him and did his duty,” Mr. Jacob wrote. “It should be investigated whether the president’s outside lawyers did their thing.”
Mr Eastman declined to comment through a spokesman.
Liberal activist Lauren Windsor recently filmed by Mr. Eastman calling Mr. Pencea “establishment man” and stands by the contents of his note. “These guys are spineless,” he said of MPs who refused to join his plan annul the election on the basis of false allegations of widespread voter fraud.
Trump’s offer to subordinate the election
In the Oval Office the day before the congressional confirmation of electoral votes, Mr. Trump Mr. Pence pushed him to join the conspiracy a series of meetings, including one meeting lasting at least one hour. Mr. Eastman was in the office and Mr. Penceu claimed he had the power to take action.
Just before Mr. Pence left for the Capitol on Jan. 6, Mr. Trump called the vice president’s residence to press one last time.
“You can go down in history as a patriot,” Mr. Trump told him, according to two people who became acquainted with the conversation, “or you can go down in history as a cat.”
Mr Eastman spoke at the rally before the attack on the Capitol and made unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud. As the outrage grew in the days after the riots, he did he suddenly retired from work as a talented professor and scholar of constitutional law at Chapman University.
A House of Representatives committee investigating the attack has asked the White House to hand over documents and communications regarding Mr. Eastman. Investigators also intend to ask him potentially under subpoena, to sit down for an interview as they study the circumstances of the largest attack on the Capitol after the war of 1812. In the violence that claimed several lives, about 140 officers were wounded.
Maggie Haberman in Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting.