An attorney with President Donald Trump’s legal team had a six-point strategy for how Vice President Mike Pence could have overturned the 2020 presidential election.
The new book, “Peril” Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, details how the attorney said Pence could throw out electoral votes from 7 states, CNN reported.
The scheme put forward by controversial lawyer John Eastman was outlined in a two-page memo obtained by the authors for “Peril,” and which was subsequently obtained by CNN. The memo, which has not previously been made public, provides new detail showing how Trump and his team tried to persuade Pence to subvert the Constitution and throw out the election results on January 6.
The effort to sway Pence was just one of several behind-the-scenes attempts that Trump’s team undertook ahead of January 6 in a desperate bid to overturn the 2020 election loss, after dozens of lawsuits were thrown out of the courts. “Peril,” which will be released Tuesday, details how Eastman’s memo was sent to GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and how Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani tried to convince fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina of election fraud. But both Lee and Graham scoffed at the arguments and found they had no merit.
“You might as well make your case to Queen Elizabeth II. Congress can’t do this. You’re wasting your time,” Sen. Lee said to the attorneys who wanted to overturn the results of the election in Georgia.
The memo from Eastman planned to throw out the results in seven states because they were believed to have a slate of competing electors. But no state had put forward a slate of competing electors, just Trump allies claiming to be alternate electors with no authority to do so.
“Pence would have declared Trump the winner with more Electoral College votes after the seven states were thrown out, at 232 votes to 222. Anticipating ‘howls’ from Democrats protesting the overturning of the election, the memo proposes, Pence would instead say that no candidate had reached 270 votes in the Electoral College. That would throw the election to the House of Representatives, where each state would get one vote. Since Republicans controlled 26 state delegations, a majority could vote for Trump to win the election,” CNN reported.
The plan is said to first have been proposed to Pence on January 4 in the Oval Office as Trump attempted to convince Pence that he had the authority to change the results of the election.
“You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out,” Trump said that day, according to the book “Peril.”
“The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission — either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court,” Eastman said in the memo. “The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.”
Sen. Lee was said to be shocked by what the memo had said, particularly as no state had put forward an alternate slate of electors.
“Lee’s head was spinning,” the book said. “No such procedure existed in the Constitution, any law or past practice. Eastman had apparently drawn it out of thin air.”
Pence ultimately certified the election after talking to former Vice President Dan Quayle.
“Over and over, Pence asked if there was anything he could do,” the authors said of Pence’s conversation with Quayle.
“Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” Quayle reportedly said.
“You don’t know the position I’m in,” Pence responded.
“I do know the position you’re in. I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian [who issues rulings about congressional authority]. That’s all you do. You have no power,’” Quayle said.
h/t: Conservative Brief