Trump lawyer ‘gave Pence six-step guide on how to overturn election’

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Then-President Donald Trump speaks as then-Vice President Mike Pence looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 24, 2020.  (Getty Images)
Then-President Donald Trump speaks as then-Vice President Mike Pence looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 24, 2020. (Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers were ready with a six-step memo that could have potentially allowed his Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the US Presidential election results, according to multiple reports.

The memo detailing the steps was presented to Mr Pence ahead of January 6 when the Electoral College votes were slated for counting in seven states, reveals a book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Mr Trump’s lawyer and a conservative John Eastman detailed in the two-page memo their plan convincing Mr Pence to throw out the election results and subvert the Constitution in one among several bids to overturn the 2020 Presidential election which brought the Democratic administration to power, reported CNN.

Called the “Eastman memo”, it asked Mr Pence to declare Mr Trump the winner with higher Electoral College votes with 232 votes against the 222. Expecting severe backlash and “howls” from Democrats, the memo guided the vice president to then announce that no candidate had reached 270 votes, the report added.

This would bring the election and results to the House of Representatives which would give every state one vote. The political math would have swayed the results from there in Mr Trump’s favour as Republicans then controlled 26 state delegations, giving them a majority share.

Mr Pence rejected the memos and said that the US Constitution did not empower him with authority beyond counting the Electoral College votes. The book, cited in the report, adds that Mr Pence did his own set of consultations and reached out to former Vice President Dan Quayle and the Senate parliamentarian who confirmed that his powers were restricted only to counting the votes.

Mr Eastman and Mr Trump first took this plan to Mr Pence on January 4 in the Oval Office as the former president tried to convince his vice-president in command of the alleged authority to halt the certification of the election, a CNN report added.

However, Mr Pence put his foot down and decided to not intervene citing his Constitutional duties, which led the former President to turn on him and attack him in angry tweets on Twitter. Mr Trump was permanently suspended from using Twitter in January this year.

The Eastman memo could play a role in the investigation by the House select committee probing the January 6 US Capitol riots as it sought documents involving communications on Eastman from National Archives, according to the report.

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