Trump lawyer John Eastman "didn't even believe" his own advice for overturning the 2020 election, Mike Pence wrote Wednesday.
Eastman had argued the former vice president could unilaterally reject electoral votes.
But Eastman admitted to the vice president's general counsel that was not legal, Pence wrote.
Conservative attorney John Eastman admitted that his own legal advice for overturning the 2020 election would be a "bad idea" and be quickly rejected by the Supreme Court, former Vice President Mike Pence revealed Wednesday.
Writing in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Pence detailed how he was pressured by Donald Trump to break the law, noting that the former president had chided him for being "too honest" when he said that he did not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally reject President Joe Biden's victory.
But Trump was not the only one who viewed legal arguments to the contrary as a mere cover for a power grab.
On January 5, Pence wrote, he was called into the Oval Office, where Eastman and other lawyers tried to persuade him to reject electors from battleground states, such as Arizona and Pennsylvania, that Biden had won.
"I later learned that Mr. Eastman had conceded to my general counsel that rejecting electoral votes was a bad idea and any attempt to do so would be quickly overturned by a unanimous Supreme Court," Pence wrote. "This guy didn't even believe what he was telling the president."
A central figure in the plot to overturn the 2020 election, Eastman was the author of a memo — which he provided to Insider last year — arguing that Pence, instead of just serving as a ceremonial figure, could in fact use his role as president of the Senate to effectively throw out votes disputed by the Trump campaign. At the time it was revealed, University of Pennsylvania legal expert Kermit Roosevelt described the plan as "a proposed coup cloaked in legal language."
In response to that effort, the House of Representatives in September passed a bill modifying the Electoral Count Act to raise the bar for challenging election results in Congress and explicitly state that the vice president alone cannot reject a state's certified slate of electors.
In a statement to Insider, Eastman, a fellow at the conservative Claremont Institute, disputed the former vice president's characterization of his legal advice. He claimed he ultimately wanted Pence to delay the count of votes, not reject them outright, to give Republican-led states that Biden won time to select alternate, pro-Trump slates of electors — a plan that would have itself been illegal and is the subject of a federal investigation.
"I understand why Mr. Pence would like to make it appear as though my advice was that he unilaterally declare President Trump re-elected so that he can claim publicly that he acted quite reasonably in rejecting the advice," Eastman said, "but that is not the advice that I gave, and Pence should quit lying about it in an attempt to resurrect his political career."
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