A right-wing lawyer who wrote two notorious memos about how to overturn the legitimate democratic presidential election now calls himself a “white-knight hero” who talked then-President Donald Trump off the ledge from more radical action.
John Eastman, a lawyer and fellow at a right-wing think tank, is now desperately downplaying the memos he wrote before January 6 laying out how then-Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election and subvert the will of the American people.
He’s now presenting himself as more of a savior of democracy.
“Call me the white-knight hero here, talking [Trump] down from the more aggressive position,” Eastman told the National Review in an interview published last week. He didn’t specify what more “aggressive” positions Trump was contemplating.
Eastman is coming under more scrutiny amid the investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection by the House select committee. As more details about various actors come to light, the violence is looking less like a spontaneous riot and far more like a premeditated coup attempt involving Trump supporters from several different echelons.
Eastman insists his memos were merely “internal discussion memos for the legal team,” prepared at the request of somebody whose name he can’t recall.
“I was asked to kind of outline how each of those scenarios would work and then orally present my views on whether I thought they were valid or not, so that’s what those memos did,” he told The National Review.
He now says anyone who calls his strategy viable is “crazy.”
In fact, the memos carefully outlined how Pence could unilaterally manhandle the vote away from the electorate. Eastman even offered specific ways to make the math work to get Biden under the 270 electoral vote threshold that would throw the vote to the House, dominated then by Republicans.
“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,” Eastman wrote at the time.
The Claremont Institute, where Eastman is a senior fellow, last week blasted the mounting fallout against Eastman for his efforts at overturning the election, complaining about his “de-platforming and ostracism.”
He merely offered “legal advice” at a “critical stage during the 2020 elections in December 2020 and January 2021” as “counsel to the president of the United State,” the institute said in a statement.
Eastman was forced out of his law professorship at Chapman College in southern California in January after pushing his baseless conspiracy theories about the election.
He appeared at the Jan. 6 Trump rally outside the White House alongside Rudy Giuliani, who urged “trial by combat” before extremists stormed the Capitol.
Read Eastman’s entire interview with The National Review here.