After dozens of lawsuits were settled out of courts, the attempt to seduce Pence was one of several behind-the-scenes efforts Trump’s team had made before January 6 to reverse the 2020 election loss. “Peril,” which will be released Tuesday, details how Eastman’s memo was sent to GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and how Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani charged fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for election fraud. tried to persuade. But both Lee and Graham scoffed at the arguments and found that they had no merit.
“You can also make your case for Queen Elizabeth II. Congress can’t do that. You’re wasting your time,” Lee told Trump’s lawyers trying to reverse the results in Georgia, according to the book.
The Eastman memo laid out a six-step plan for Pence to reverse the election for Trump, which involved throwing out results in seven states because they allegedly had competing voters. In fact, no state had actually put forward an alternative slate of voters—the only ones were Trump allies claiming to be electors with no rights.
Under Eastman’s plan, Pence would have declared Trump the winner with more Electoral College votes, when seven states were thrown out of 232 votes to 222. Fearing “howls” from Democrats opposed to reversing the election, the memo proposes, Pence instead state that none of the candidates reached 270 votes in the Electoral College. This would throw the election to the House of Representatives, where each state would get one vote. Since Republicans controlled 26 state delegations, a majority could vote for Trump to win the election.
The plan was first proposed to Pence when Eastman was with Trump in the Oval Office on January 4, during one of Trump’s attempts to convince Pence that he had the authority to withhold the authentication of the election.
“You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Listen to him,” Trump told Pence at that meeting, Woodward and Costa write in “Peril.”
In the memo, Eastman suggested that Pence should act without warning.
Eastman wrote, “The main point here is that Pence should do so without seeking permission—either by a joint session vote or by the Court.” “The fact is that the Constitution provides this power to the Vice President as the final arbiter. We must take all our actions into account.”
In the end, Pence did not go along with Eastman’s plan, concluding that the Constitution gave him no power other than counting the votes of the Electoral College. According to the book, he conducted his own consultations before January 6, reaching out to former Vice President Dan Quayle and Senate MPs, who were both clear that they had no authority other than to count votes.
When Pence refused to intervene, Trump turned to his vice president, attacking him on Twitter, even as the uprising at the Capitol was unfolding on Jan.
A source familiar with the investigation told Granthshala it “shows intent, a sophisticated scheme, illegal and unconstitutional blueprint to subvert elections and steal”.
‘Lee’s head was spinning’
Eastman told the Washington Post that his memo only “explored all the options that were proposed.” Granthshala has contacted Eastman for comment through the Claremont Institute, where he is a senior fellow.
As part of Trump’s team’s efforts to persuade Congress not to ratify the election, the Eastman memo was given to Lee, one of the Senate’s top Republican constitutional writers. At the same time, Giuliani sent several memos trying to convince Graham that the election fraud claims from Trump’s team were legitimate.
The memos show how even some of Trump’s closest aides balked at the measures Trump’s team has to take behind the scenes to try to reverse their loss to Biden. But when Lee and Graham heard the cases from Trump’s attorneys, they dismissed their claims, Woodard and Costa write.
Lee was surprised by the claims being made by the memo, as no state had considered any alternative slates of voters. “Lee’s head was spinning,” the author writes. “No such procedure existed in the Constitution, any law or previous practice. Eastman apparently pulled it out of thin air.”
Lee also rejected the Trump team’s arguments that there was a case for reversing the election results in Georgia, saying they had to be made in court.
Woodward and Costa also obtained several memos sent to Graham to try to convince Giuliani about electoral fraud in Georgia and other states. Granthshala has got those memos too.
The authors write that on January 2, Giuliani briefed Graham at the White House. Giuliani presented a statistical analysis arguing that Biden’s victory was impossible, but Graham described Giuliani’s evidence as too succinct. According to the book, Graham said, “Give me some names. You have to give it in writing. You need to show me the evidence.”
Giuliani sent Graham several memos and affidavits claiming fraud. But when Lee Holmes, an attorney for Graham’s Chief Judiciary Committee, looked into the claims, he found them to be sloppy, domineering and “added nothing,” write Woodward and Costa. “Holmes told Graham that the data in the memo was a concoction, with a bullying tone and eighth-grade writing.”
According to the book, “third grade,” Graham replied. “I may get an affidavit tomorrow saying that the world is flat.”
Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump continues to advance baseless claims that the election was stolen from him. Last week, he sent a new letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger claiming he should begin the process of scrapping the 2020 election.
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