Former law professor John Eastman is the man who penned the six-point memo on overturning the 2020 election loss that was the topic of conversation among many of the witnesses who spoke to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress.
While Eastman used his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, The New York Times noticed that other witnesses were more willing to give details.
White House lawyers that spoke with the now-disbanded committee characterized Eastman as an academic with no real grasp on the law in daily life.
"Greg Jacob, the legal counsel to former Vice President Mike Pence, characterized Mr. Eastman’s legal advice as 'gravely, gravely irresponsible, calling him the 'serpent in the ear' of Mr. Trump," the report said.
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Infamous lawyer Eric Herschmann, who used a lot of colorful language when testifying to Congress, recalled how he chewed out Eastman. Meanwhile, White House counsel Pat Cipollone described Eastman as "nutty."
Thus far, the FBI has seized his cell phone, he's been pulled into the Fulton County special grand jury, he was recommended for criminal charges to the DOJ by the Jan. 6 committee and he faces a proceeding for disciplinary action by the California Bar Association.
His strategy for the coup plot began by using party officials to gather fake electors in swing states that could claim they were the legitimate electors. Those fake electors signed fraudulent state documents that, in some cases, were sent to the federal government. The other piece of the plot was to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to certify the electoral count on Jan. 6.
During the rally ahead of the attack on the Capitol, Eastman told the crowd that there were ballots stuffed in "a secret folder" and sketchy voting machine information. There was no evidence of the claims.
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By Eastman's account, the Jan. 4 meeting with Trump and others in the Oval Office in which he admitted that the idea wouldn't hold up in court, much less at the Supreme Court. By then, however, Trump had been pondering the conspiracy for weeks and deploying his own squeeze on Pence. Eastman claims, however, that he got Trump to believe that Pence couldn't simply make Trump president in Congress.
By Pence's account, however, he was summoned to the Oval Office where “the president’s lawyers, including Mr. Eastman, were now requesting that I simply reject the electors.”