On CNN Monday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman explained that pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman's "coup" memo was so outlandish, that even Eastman himself admitted to former Vice President Mike Pence that what it was describing wasn't really legal.
"I want to ask about your piece over the weekend about this attorney, John Eastman," said anchor Anderson Cooper. "It's a fascinating look at the former president's attorney who is behind the memo that some have likened to a blueprint for a coup. Can you just lay out, sort of, what you learned?"
"So, John Eastman went into actually really extensive detail about this meeting that he attended in the Oval Office with former President Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence, with two of Pence's advisers on January 4th," said Haberman. "Two days before the riot at the Capitol that followed a rally that Eastman himself spoke at. And Eastman laid out this argument for why Pence could, you know, at first, it was that he could — he could allow replacement, alternate slates of electors from different states. None of that ever materialized. There were no slates of alternate electors. So, he then switched his suggestion to that Pence could basically go for a delay in certifying the election."
Haberman said that Eastman's plan hit a snag, however, when Pence put up unexpected resistance.
"Pence was arguing that he didn't have that power," said Haberman. "He says at one point to Eastman, do you think I have that power? And according to our sources, Eastman essentially admitted that he didn't. And then, Pence turned to former President Trump and said, did you hear that, Mr. President? He was trying make his case for why he didn't have that power and Eastman was going too far. But it was really more vivid detail than we have had about this key meeting where they were trying to press Pence to do something that Pence was very clear with them, he believed exceeded his authority."
- YouTube youtu.be