Greg Jacob, the White House’s top lawyer for then-Vice President Mike Pence, testified publicly during a televised hearing before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. against the United States Capitol, claiming then-President Donald Trump’s legal adviser John Eastman “acknowledged” that their plan to overturn Joe Biden’s victory would not hold up in the Supreme Court.
Eastman was a key architect of Trump’s plan to have Pence reject voters in several key swing states in a bid to prevent Biden from taking the presidency, despite winning the 2020 election. Pence refused to comply with this unconstitutional plot, prompting anger from Trump and death threats from supporters of the former president.
“I think I raised the issue [in a January 4 meeting] that Mr. Eastman’s two proposals would violate several provisions of the Electoral Count Act. Mr. Eastman acknowledged that this was the case, that even what he considered the most politically palatable option would violate several provisions. Jacob said Thursday during his testimony.
“They [the courts] would invoke the political question doctrine, and therefore, we might have some comfort in continuing down that path,” Pence’s former legal adviser told the committee, outlining Eastman’s arguments.
In a follow-up chat on Jan. 5, Jacob said Eastman admitted the plan would lose if taken to the Supreme Court.
“He first started ‘well, maybe you’d only lose 7 to 2,'” the former White House attorney said. “But [he] finally recognized, no, we would lose 9 to 0. No judge would support his argument.”
Jacob also claimed that Pence “never budged” from his opposition to the unconstitutional plan. Trump, however, continued to pressure the vice president to refuse to certify electoral votes. Even as Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, the then-president launched a Twitter attack on his vice president.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the guts to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, by giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones they are told. asked to certify before. The United States demands the truth!” Trump wrote.
Meanwhile, some of the then-president’s supporters chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” as the riot unfolded. Some Trump supporters also brought a gallows and erected it in front of the Capitol.
Pence has publicly reiterated his opposition to Trump’s Jan. 6 plot.
“The Constitution does not give the vice president such authority until the joint session of Congress,” the former vice president said during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in June 2021.
“And the truth is,” the prominent Republican continued, “there is hardly any idea more un-American than the idea that anyone could choose the American president. The presidency belongs to the American people and to the American people alone.”
Trump has dismissed the House Select Committee’s public hearings as a “kangaroo court.” He has consistently dismissed the investigation as a partisan effort, or “witch hunt,” aimed at him and his allies.
“The Jan. 6 Screening Committee dishonors everything we hold sacred about our Constitution. If they had real evidence, they would hold real hearings with equal representation. They don’t, so they use the illegally constituted committee to put on a smoke and mirror show for the American people, in a pitiful last-ditch effort to deceive the American public…again,” the former president said in a statement this week.
Newsweek contacted Eastman for comment.