Memo shows Trump lawyer’s six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election
The trouble to sway Pence was simply considered one of a number of behind-the-scenes makes an attempt that Trump’s group undertook forward of January 6 in a determined bid to overturn the 2020 election loss, after dozens of lawsuits have been thrown out of the courts. “Peril,” which might be launched Tuesday, particulars how Eastman’s memo was despatched to GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and the way Trump legal professional Rudy Giuliani tried to persuade fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina of election fraud. However each Lee and Graham scoffed on the arguments and located they’d no benefit.
“You would possibly as nicely make your case to Queen Elizabeth II. Congress cannot do that. You are losing your time,” Lee mentioned to Trump’s attorneys making an attempt to overturn the leads to Georgia, in accordance with the e-book.
The Eastman memo laid out a six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election for Trump, which included throwing out the leads to seven states as a result of they allegedly had competing electors. In reality, no state had really put ahead an alternate slate of electors — there have been merely Trump allies claiming with none authority to be electors.
Underneath Eastman’s scheme, Pence would have declared Trump the winner with extra Electoral School votes after the seven states have been thrown out, at 232 votes to 222. Anticipating “howls” from Democrats protesting the overturning of the election, the memo proposes, Pence would as an alternative say that no candidate had reached 270 votes within the Electoral School. That will throw the election to the Home of Representatives, the place every state would get one vote. Since Republicans managed 26 state delegations, a majority may vote for Trump to win the election.
The plan was first proposed to Pence when Eastman was with Trump within the Oval Workplace on January 4, throughout considered one of Trump’s makes an attempt to persuade Pence that he had the authority to cease the certification of the election.
“You really want to take heed to John. He is a revered constitutional scholar. Hear him out,” Trump mentioned to Pence at that assembly, Woodward and Costa write in “Peril.”
Within the memo, Eastman went as far as to recommend Pence ought to take motion with out warning.
“The principle factor right here is that Pence ought to do that with out asking for permission — both from a vote of the joint session or from the Courtroom,” Eastman wrote. “The actual fact is that the Structure assigns this energy to the Vice President as the last word arbiter. We must always take all of our actions with that in thoughts.”
In the long run, Pence did not go together with Eastman’s scheme, concluding that the Structure didn’t give him any energy past counting the Electoral School votes. He did his personal consultations earlier than January 6, in accordance with the e-book, reaching out to former Vice President Dan Quayle and the Senate parliamentarian, who have been each clear in telling him he had no authority past counting the votes.
When Pence refused to intervene, Trump turned on his vice chairman, attacking him on Twitter even because the rebellion on the Capitol was unfolding on January 6.
“It reveals intent, a classy plan, a blueprint to illegally and unconstitutionally overturn and steal the election” by Trump and his group primarily based on false and deceptive info and authorized arguments, a supply acquainted with the investigation advised CNN.
‘Lee’s head was spinning’
Eastman advised the Washington Publish that his memo merely “explored all choices that had been proposed.” CNN has contacted Eastman for remark via the Claremont Institute, the place he’s a senior fellow.
As a part of the efforts of Trump’s group to persuade Congress to not certify the election, the Eastman memo was given to Lee, one of many Senate’s prime Republican constitutional authors. On the identical time, Giuliani despatched a number of memos to Graham making an attempt to persuade him that the claims of election fraud coming from Trump’s group have been official.
The memos present how even a few of Trump’s closest allies balked on the measures Trump’s group was taking behind the scenes to attempt to overturn his loss to Biden. However whereas Lee and Graham heard out the instances from Trump’s attorneys, they soundly rejected their claims, Woodard and Costa write.
Lee was shocked by the claims the memo was making, since no state had thought-about, not to mention put ahead, any alternate slates of electors. “Lee’s head was spinning,” the authors write. “No such process existed within the Structure, any legislation or previous follow. Eastman had apparently drawn it out of skinny air.”
Lee additionally dismissed the Trump group’s arguments that it had a case to overturn the election leads to Georgia, saying they needed to be made in courtroom.
Woodward and Costa additionally obtained a number of memos Giuliani despatched to Graham to attempt to persuade him of election fraud in Georgia and different states. CNN has additionally obtained these memos.
The authors write that on January 2, Giuliani briefed Graham on the White Home. Giuliani introduced a statistical evaluation arguing Biden’s win was not possible, however Graham dismissed Giuliani’s proof as too summary. “Give me some names. You’ll want to put it in writing. You’ll want to present me the proof,” Graham mentioned, in accordance with the e-book.
Giuliani then despatched Graham a number of memos and affidavits claiming fraud. However when Graham’s chief Judiciary Committee counsel Lee Holmes went over the claims, he discovered they have been sloppy, overbearing and “added as much as nothing,” Woodward and Costa write. “Holmes reported to Graham that the information within the memos have been a concoction, with a bullying tone and eighth grade writing.”
“Third grade,” Graham responded, in accordance with the e-book. “I can get an affidavit tomorrow saying the world is flat.”
Giuliani didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Trump has continued to push baseless claims that the election was stolen from him. Final week, he despatched a brand new letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger claiming he ought to begin the method of decertifying the 2020 election.