Trump attorney's memo to Pence outlined procedure to overturn election: reports

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An attorney for former President Donald Trump outlined a six-point plan for overturning the 2020 presidential election results in a memo to then-Vice President Mike Pence, according to new reporting by journalists at The Washington Post and CNN.

The two-page memo from attorney John Eastman first was reported in the new book “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa; CNN also obtained a copy of the plan, which hinged on Electoral College votes in seven states.

Despite pressure from the Oval Office, Pence, acting as president of the Senate, presided over the Jan. 6 certification of Electoral College results that made Joe Biden president, even after a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Rioters swarmed the Capitol, with some calling for Pence to be hanged, as Trump tweeted an attack on his vice president’s “courage.” Pence has since been heckled at a public appearance as a “traitor.”

Vice President Mike Pence presides over a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 intending to confirm Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election before a mob of Donald Trump's supporters invaded the Capitol and lawmakers fled for safety.
Vice President Mike Pence presides over a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 intending to confirm Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election before a mob of Donald Trump's supporters invaded the Capitol and lawmakers fled for safety.

Pence considered intervening in the certification to be unconstitutional, but Eastman’s memo tried to convince him otherwise.

The memo suggests Pence could set aside Electoral College votes in seven states that submitted “multiple slates of electors.” Without those states, Eastman claimed Trump would hold a majority of Electoral College votes but not the required 270 to clinch his re-election.

The matter then would shift to the House of Representatives, Eastman wrote, where state delegations would decide the election. Republicans controlled a majority of the state delegations, according to the memo.

Experts in election law told Politifact in late 2020 that “shadow electors” who met to cast Electoral College votes for Trump against their state’s certified electors for Biden held no legal standing.

Pence’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The former vice president has said he and Trump likely will never see “eye to eye on that day.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump lawyer memo to Pence outlined procedure to overturn election

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