Controversial right-wing lawyer and Donald Trump ally John Eastman admitted to a progressive activist posing as a fan that he was counting on former Vice President Mike Pence to thwart American voters and toss out the results of the 2020 presidential election.
But Pence turned out to be too much of an “establishment guy at the end of the day,” Eastman complained on video.
Eastman made the damning confession Saturday to Lauren Windsor of the grassroots political web TV show “The Undercurrent,” who pretended to be a “huge” Trump supporter and an admirer of Eastman as she spoke to him at the annual gala of the right-wing Claremont Institute, where Eastman is a senior fellow. (Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was honored at the Huntington Beach, California, event.)
Eastman has come under fire for two notorious “coup memos” he wrote detailing several ways in which Pence — without any actual evidence of fraud — could challenge and manipulate the number of electoral votes to shrink Joe Biden’s count in the presidential election just enough to overturn the voters’ choice and toss the decision to the U.S. House.
Eastman, who is expected to be called to testify before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, has recently scrambled to distance himself from his memos. He told The National Review in an interview earlier this month that having Pence reject electoral votes was not “viable” and such a strategy would have been “crazy” to pursue.
He actually characterized himself in the interview as a “white knight hero” who talked then-President Donald Trump back from the ledge of more radical action, which he didn’t detail.
But in his talk with Windsor — a day after the National Review interview appeared — he boasted of his legal acumen and blamed Pence for not unilaterally wresting the power to select a president away from voters. He said there was “no question” his legal reasoning was “totally solid,” as Windsor characterized it.
Eastman was reportedly part of a “war room” of Trump allies — which also included Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and onetime White House strategist Steve Bannon — who plotted in Washington’s Willard Hotel to overturn Biden’s victory.
Eastman “outlined scenarios for denying Biden the presidency” and “subvert[ing] the will of the voters” also in a Jan. 4 White House meeting with Trump and Pence, The Washington Post reported.
Information still emerging about behind-the-scenes plots to keep Trump in the White House despite his election loss are forming a picture of the Jan. 6 insurrection more clearly as part of a premeditated plan rather than a spontaneous riot by Trump supporters.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.