The newly released memo contains a step-by-step plan on how then-Vice President Mike Pence could block Joe Biden's certification and install Donald Trump as president — despite Trump's clear loss.
A newly released memo from a lawyer working with former President Donald Trump's legal team shows just how serious Trump was about stealing the 2020 election he lost.
The memo, first reported in the book "Peril" from Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa and later obtained by CNN, laid out a 6-point plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's Electoral College certification and instead install Trump for a second term that he didn't win.
Pence refused to carry out the plan, which was written up by disgraced law professor John Eastman, who spoke at the "Save America" rally that preceded the violent and deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
But the memo provides some of the strongest evidence that Trump did not plan to honor the election results if he lost.
"A prominent lawyer came up with a plan to steal the election, and Trump tried to convince Pence to go along with it," former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti tweeted. "The President of the United States, enabled by men like Eastman, tried to end our democracy. But Republicans don't even want to investigate what happened."
Under Eastman's scenario, Pence — who presided over the counting of the Electoral College votes — would refuse to count the electors from seven states, citing "ongoing disputes" about their election results. Refusing to count those electors would leave the results at 232 votes for Trump and 222 votes for Biden, and said Pence could then declare "President Trump as re-elected."
Eastman said that there would be "howls, of course, from the Democrats," but that Pence should then send the issue to the House, where each state would have one representative cast a vote to determine the outcome of the race.
"Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well," Eastman wrote in the memo.
According to Woodward and Costa's book, Pence was presented with this plan on Jan. 4 in an Oval Office meeting with Trump, to which Trump told Pence, "You really need to listen to John. He's a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out."
Pence, however, wrote in a letter ahead of the Jan. 6 Electoral College certification that "the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not."
"Today I want to assure the American people that I will keep the oath I made to them and I will keep the oath I made to Almighty God," Pence concluded in his letter, released shortly before the mob of Trump supporters waged an insurrection at the Capitol, with some chanting "hang Mike Pence" for his perceived refusal to steal the election.
Since that acquittal, Republicans have also refused to authorize an investigation into the events that preceded the insurrection — which left 140 law enforcement officers injured and led multiple others to take their own lives. Republicans in the Senate reportedly feared a bipartisan outside investigation of the insurrection could imperil their chances in the 2022 midterm elections.
Subsequently, Democrats launched their own select committee in the House to probe the domestic terror attack, which is currently ongoing.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.