July 3, 2022

PARDON ME? Trump lawyer John Eastman is in BIG trouble

PARDON ME? Trump lawyer John Eastman is in BIG trouble

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The day after the Capitol riot, former Trump attorney John Eastman sought a presidential pardon from Donald Trump. It’s more proof that Eastman knew when he pressured Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election that he was breaking the law — an effort that he admitted was illegal just two days before the January 6th attempted coup.

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Prior to contacting Rudy Giuliani on January 7th, Eastman spoke with former White House attorney Eric Herschmann who testified that he told the former law professor, “Get a great F’in criminal defense lawyer, you’re gonna need it.” This prompted Eastman to write in an email to Giuliani, “Third, I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list if that is still in the works.”

When that didn’t happen, Eastman pled the Fifth Amendment 100 times during his testimony before the January 6th Select Committee. That move was something that Trump himself criticized when running for president in 2016, saying during a debate:

“When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the Fifth, so they’re not prosecuted, when you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth, I think it’s disgraceful.”

C-Span tweeted a clip of Eastman taking the fifth:

The January 6th investigation revealed Eastman to be the architect of the plot that contributed to putting then-Vice President Mike Pence’s life in danger by falsely claiming Pence had the authority to reject or stop the electoral count. As an attorney, he knew he was wrong, but it didn’t stop him from trying. Or stop him from putting increased pressure on the Vice President and Pence’s attorney Greg Jacob.

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In March, a federal judge shot down Eastman’s attempts to claim attorney-client privilege. ruling that Eastman must turn over requested documents to the January 6th Committee. In his decision ordering Eastman to comply, Judge David Carter wrote that he believed both Eastman and then-President Trump “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American History.” And that it was “a coup in search of a legal theory.”

Before asking for a pardon, Eastman admitted to Pence’s attorney, Vice President Pence, and Trump on January 4, 2021, that what he was asking of Pence was a violation of the Electoral Count Act, per Greg Jacob’s testimony before the select committee. But even after acknowledging it, Eastman continued to pressure Jacob and Pence the day before —  and the day of — the insurrection. Jacob testified that, even after Pence had to flee for his life just hours earlier, Eastman emailed asking Pence to consider a “delay” in certification.

It was a request for an act that was still illegal.

John Eastman knew he was breaking the law — and knew what he was asking of the VP was illegal. Seeking a pardon when that plot failed, some would say is akin to admitting guilt. After the third day of testimony — and revelations — Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-NY) told reporters “The fact that he was looking into a pardon for himself as a lawyer suggests either consciousness of guilt or fear that he might be guilty.”

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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