Alex Constantine - October 17, 2023
By Alex Constantine
John Eastman, left, principal advocate of the fake electors plot
On January 5, 2021, the eve of insurrection, Gregory Jacob, legal counsel to Mike Pence, sent the Vice President a terse memo with the subject head, "Analysis of Professor Eastman's Proposals."
John Eastman, who teaches Constitutional law at Chapman University, was fully aware that sending a clutch of fake electors into a Joint session of Congress to depose Biden was illegal, and said so during a White House meeting.
Jacob: "Professor Eastman does not recommend that the Vice President asset that he has the authority unilaterally to decide which of the slates of electors should be counted." Eastnan "acknowledges that his proposal violates provisions of statutory law."
Yet Trump's lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on September 5, despite his prior admission that the faux electors plot contradicted a well-established injunction when it was pitched to the VP.
The Electoral Count Act, Jacob noted in his memo to Pence, "provides that, whether of not any objections have been made, competing slates of electors must be submitted to the Senate and House for debate and disposition. 3 U.S.C. § 15. Professor Eastman's proposal would instead refer competing slates of electors to State legislatures for disposition."
Trump, after Eastman, has long maintained in his public appeals for sympathy that on January 6, hours before the count of electoral college votes, he asked his deputy to send them back to the states -- strictly illegal, as Eastman acknowledged.
The applicable law was upheld by the Supreme Court over a century ago, Jacob explained in the memo: "Professor Eastman’s proposal is also contradicted by the opinion authored by Republican Supreme Court Justice Joseph Bradley as the deciding vote on the Electoral Commission of 1877. Justice Bradley found that the Vice President cannot decide the validity of electoral votes, and cannot order that investigations into their validity be conducted outside of Congress."
Sending the votes back to the states would have been a direct violation of law, and Eastman knew it. Once this was explained to the VP, he was unwilling to stick his head in the noose, despite Trump's badgering.
As a result, Pence has turned the tables on Trump and his criminal attorney, and kept his own name off of the court docket.
The Jacob memo makes hash of Eastman's not guilty plea, evincing awareness guilt that will be difficult to explain to a jury.