Select committee points to evidence Trump lawyer’s election-related efforts resumed after Jan. 6

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The Jan. 6 select committee indicated Tuesday that it will unfurl evidence that a key lawyer for former President Donald Trump resumed his election-related efforts on Jan. 7, a day after a pro-Trump mob sought to derail the transition of power to Joe Biden.

Trump White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the select committee — in video testimony revealed publicly Tuesday afternoon — that he received an unexpected phone call on Jan. 7, 2021, from John Eastman, the attorney who played an instrumental role in Trump’s last-ditch strategy to subvert the election.

In Herschmann’s telling, Eastman immediately asked him about “something dealing with Georgia and preserving something potentially for appeal.”

“And I said to him, ‘Are you out of your f’ing mind?’” Herschmann recalled. “I said, ‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition.’”

After pressing Eastman to repeat those words, Herschmann said Eastman eventually complied.

“I said, ‘Good, John. Now I’m going to give you the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life: Get a great f’ing criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it,’” Herschmann recalled. “And then I hung up on him.”

The minute-long clip was primarily a teaser for Thursday’s hearing, which will feature testimony from at least two key allies of former Vice President Mike Pence: former counsel Greg Jacob and retired federal judge Michael Luttig.

Jacob spent the days before Jan. 6 helping Pence fend off pressure from Eastman to impede the transition of power on Jan. 6, when Pence was required to preside over a joint session of Congress to count electoral votes.

Eastman pushed a fringe legal theory claiming that Pence could use his authority at the session to either declare Trump the winner, reject Biden’s electoral votes or delay the session altogether — giving time to GOP-controlled state legislatures to appoint new pro-Trump electors.

Pence ultimately refused this pressure campaign from Trump and Eastman, and a federal judge in California has ruled that the effort likely amounted to a criminal conspiracy by Trump and Eastman to overturn the election.

Herschmann’s suggestion that he recommended Eastman get a criminal defense lawyer indicates some in Trump’s White House agreed.

Little has come out about the efforts to overturn the election that carried past Jan. 6, 2021, as Washington reeled in the aftermath of the violence. Trump ally Mike Lindell was seen going into the White House days later with a document that referenced the Insurrection Act, a 19th-century law that Trump allies had considered invoking to seize voting machines.