Former Vice President Mike Pence’s attorney is leaving no ambiguity whatsoever that Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election were illegal. Laying out the point and counter-points in a three-page memo to his client, Greg Jacob, the legal counsel for then-Vice President Pence, was explicit in his assertion that what Trump’s legal counsel, John Eastman, was trying to pressure Pence to do was a clear violation of the Electoral Count Act (ECA).
In his memo, Jacob said Eastman acknowledged his proposal would require Pence to violate the Electoral Count Act in four ways.
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) June 11, 2022
The ECA clearly defines the role that the Vice President has in the electoral process. In 1877, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Bradley found that the Vice President “cannot decide the validity of electoral votes,” nor can they order an “investigation” outside of Congress as to their validity. Bradley goes on to say:
“He is not invested with any authority for making any investigation outside of the joint meeting of the two Houses. He cannot send for persons or papers. He is utterly without the means or the power to do anything more than to inspect the documents sent to him, and he cannot inspect them until he opens them in the presence of the two Houses. It would seem to be clear, therefore, that if any examination at all is to be gone into, or any judgment is to be exercised in relation to the votes received, it must be performed and exercised by the two Houses.”
In his memo dated January 5th, the day before the Capitol insurrection, Jacob concludes that if Pence were to do as Eastman and his twice-impeached then-boss wanted, Vice President Pence would have opened himself up to legal and constitutional scrutiny at the very least. Jacob ends his memo by saying:
“If the Vice President implemented Professor Eastman’s proposal, he would likely lose in court. In a best-case scenario in which the courts refused to get involved, the Vice President would likely find himself in an isolated standoff against both houses of Congress, as well as most or all of the applicable State legislatures, with no neutral arbiter available to break the impasse.”
It should be remembered that Pence contacted several of his peers and fellow Republicans – including former Vice President Dan Quayle – as he was deciding how to handle the certification of the election. After the violence on January 6th erupted, Eastman attempted to gaslight Pence and Jacob by blaming the chaos and destruction on the Vice President’s refusal to act on behalf of Trump and overturn the free, fair, and legal results of the election.
Eastman wrote to Jacob, per The Washington Post: “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.”
Judging by Jacob’s tone and words so far, his upcoming testimony before the Jan. 6th committee will be “must-see” TV. After 20 million tuned in for the first televised hearing, the fiery desire for accountability and justice will only continue to burn. And for those tired of being gaslit, strong-armed, and bullied by the previous administration’s goons, I imagine Jacob will not only have much more to reveal but breathe a sigh of relief in the process.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick