Trump lawyer pushed Pence to overturn presidential election with 6-point memo: Bob Woodward book
A far-right-wing lawyer for former President Donald Trump reportedly sought to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to join the effort to overturn the 2020 election using a six-point legal memo.
The outlandish memo urged Pence to use his supposed power while presiding over Congress to toss out the electoral votes from seven swing states that President Joe Biden won, potentially allowing Trump to stay in power.
“The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter,” John Eastman, a former law professor at Chapman University, wrote in the memo.
The memo is revealed in “Peril,” the forthcoming blockbuster book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, CNN reported.
Pence rejected the memo, which suggested he declare an impasse over dueling slates of electors from the swing states, and presided over the session of Congress on Jan. 6 that certified Biden’s win.
But the existence of the memo, along with other details in the book, suggest Pence was much closer to backing Trump’s plan to stay in the White House than was previously known.
The memo lays out a complex legal justification that Pence could cite to effectively toss out the election results in the states that Trump loyalists falsely claimed were tainted by fraud, like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Virtually all constitutional scholars reject Eastman’s claim and say the vice president’s role is simply to preside over the tabulation of electoral votes, not to change the votes of any states.
Without those states’ votes for Biden, the memo said Pence could declare that no candidate won the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
The election would then go to the House of Representatives where the delegations of each state would vote for a candidate. Republicans control 26 out of 50 states, meaning they could have theoretically crowned Trump the winner.
The book also revealed that Trump and Pence had an ugly shouting match on the eve of the Jan. 6 rally that ended with the storming of the Capitol. It also said Pence earlier conferred with former Vice President Dan Quayle who emphatically advised him to reject Trump’s scheme.