Trump’s lawyer offered a six point plan to overturn the 2020 election
It’s been almost nine months since former President Donald Trump was voted out of the office and refused to leave. New evidence has also emerged that implicates the former president in what many consider to be an organised coup.
That’s if we’re to go on the six-point plan proposed and produced in 2020 by John C. Eastman. The document is now commonly referred to as The Eastman Memorandum. Eastman is an American law professor who was working with the legal team of then-President Donald Trump. The purpose of the document was clear, to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election results with the specific purpose to get Trump re-elected by throwing out electors from seven states on January 6, 2021.
The memo had hoped to convince then Vice President, Mike Pence to throw out the Electoral College votes when Congress met to count them. Even though the memo has been described as an instruction manual for a coup, it somehow has not grabbed mainstream media’s attention. At least not yet.
The seven states’ votes that he proposed been thrown out, included Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. The reasoning was that these states had competing electors even though it has been confirmed that no state had actually put forward an alternate slate of electors.
Eastman’s master plan would have seen Pence declare Trump the winner with more Electoral College votes after the seven states were thrown out, at 232 votes to 222. Certainly, a dangerous plan that wreaked of insurrection. Check out the details of the six-part plan below:
- VP Pence, presiding over the joint session (or Senate Pro Tempore Grassley, if Pence recuses himself), begins to open and count the ballots, starting with Alabama (without conceding that the procedure, specified by the Electoral Count Act, of going through the States alphabetically is required).
- When he gets to Arizona, he announces that he has multiple slates of electors, and so is going to defer the decision on that until finishing the other States. This would be the first break with the procedure set out in the Act.
- At the end, he announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States. That means the total number of “electors appointed” – the language of the 12th Amendment — is 454. This reading of the 12th Amendment has also been advanced by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe. A “majority of the electors appointed” would therefore be 228. There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.
- Howls, of course, from the Democrats, who now claim, contrary to Tribe’s prior position, that 270 is required. So Pence says, fine. Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, no candidate has achieved the necessary majority. That sends the matter to the House, where the “the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . . .” Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well.
- One last piece. Assuming the Electoral Count Act process is followed and, upon getting the objections to the Arizona slates, the two houses break into their separate chambers, we should not allow the Electoral Count Act constraint on the debate to control. That would mean that a prior legislature was determining the rules of the present one — a constitutional no-no (as Tribe has forcefully argued). So someone – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc. – should demand normal rules (which includes the filibuster). That creates a stalemate that would give the state legislatures more time to weigh in to formally support the alternate slate of electors if they had not already done so.
- The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission – either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court. Let the other side challenge his actions in court, where Tribe (who in 2001 conceded the President of the Senate might be in charge of counting the votes) and others who would press a lawsuit would have their past position — that these are non-justiciable political questions – thrown back at them, to get the lawsuit dismissed. The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.
A clear plan had been hatched that seemed to be abandoned with the VP Pence decided to concede and that the elections had been won fair and square. What’s mind bobbling for many is that this has not been highlighted more in the media and there are no talks of charges stemming from what was a clear plan to stage a coup, even if the tools were mostly bureaucratic.