John Eastman reportedly pressures Wisconsin legislature to decertify 2020 election

Associated Press / Susan Walsh

John Eastman, a former legal adviser to President Trump, as recently as last month pushed the Wisconsin legislature to decertify its 2020 election results amid a legal battle over whether he and the former president committed a crime in their efforts to unwind the presidential election.

A judge late last month reviewing a civil matter found Eastman likely committed a crime in writing memos for the Trump campaign arguing that then-Vice President Mike Pence could block certification of President Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021. 

But as recently as March 16, Eastman lobbied Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other proponents of decertification to overturn during meeting at the state Capitol, according to multiple reports.

“The Wisconsin legislature, therefore, in my view, not just up until January 6 or inauguration, but today as well, has the ability to look at the assessment and say, you know, our election was illegally certified,” Eastman appears to say to a crowded room in a video tweeted by Lauren Windsor of Undercurrent, a progressive grassroots political reporting program. 

“What we are asking is for the legislature to assume the power that the Constitution gives to it,” Eastman said. 

The video follows a report by ABC News that Eastman met with Vos. Wisconsin Public Radio previously reported that Vos met with decertification activists at the Wisconsin state capitol on March 16. Eastman’s appearance was not reported at the time but Vos said afterward that such a move would be “legally impossible,” rejecting calls of decertification.

“If that requires that they be called back into extraordinary session, as there is no doubt that they have the authority to do, then they should do that,” Eastman continued. He noted that the state legislature cannot pass a set of bills decertifying the results without the governor’s signature, but it could pass a resolution saying the election was “illegally certified.”

When reached for comment, Eastman said in a statement to ABC News, “By explicit request from Speaker Vos, that meeting was confidential, so I am not able to make any comment.”

The meeting with Wisconsin GOP lawmakers follows a Republican investigation of the 2020 presidential race in Wisconsin, released in early March, that advanced the argument that the state legislature could decertify the results, though even its authors noted doing so would have little practical effect as there is no legal provision to overturn results.

An attorney for Eastman did not immediately respond to request for comment by The Hill. Vos also did not respond to request for comment. 

Eastman’s continued efforts to push for a reversal of Biden’s victory come as he is facing serious consequences for his role in advising Trump.

Eastman drafted two memos for the Trump campaign outlining methods for unwinding President Biden’s electoral victory – efforts a federal judge has since determined may have been criminal, calling it “a coup in search of a legal theory.” 

The determination came in a case in which U.S. District Judge David Carter recently ordered his private communications to be turned over to the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

While Eastman had sought to block the release of his emails on the basis of attorney-client privilege, Carter largely sided with the committee, which argued such communications cannot be considered protected when done in furtherance of a crime.

“President Trump attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by launching a pressure campaign to convince Vice President Pence to disrupt the Joint Session on Jan. 6,” Carter wrote.

“The illegality of the plan was obvious,” Carter, who was appointed by former President Clinton, wrote. “Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the Vice President to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.”

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Jan 6 attack Joe Biden John Eastman John Eastman Mike Pence Robin Vos

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