John Eastman, the conservative legal scholar who drew up a full scheme to have then-Vice President Mike Pence throw out certain states’ 2020 electoral votes to steal the election for Donald Trump, reportedly took his ideas straight to at least one Republican leader in a state Trump lost.
According to the Arizona Republic’s latest report in its multi-part series on Trumpworld’s efforts to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, Eastman reached out to state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) personally on Jan. 4 to pitch a legal theory on how Arizona’s electors ought to be tossed away before Congress certifies the electoral votes on Jan. 6.
Eastman has claimed he was only ever offering hypotheticals and had no intention of overturning the election. But Jan. 4 — the day he spoke to Bowers — was also the day he presented his election-stealing scheme to Pence.
Both reported examples show Eastman pressing Republicans to subvert the election, not simply offering disinterested legal advice.
Bowers reportedly asked Eastman during their talk, “Has this ever been done before?”
The lawyer said no, but told Bowers he ought to do it anyway and let Trump’s legal team deal with whatever litigation might arise from the gambit, the Arizona Republic reported.
But the GOP leader reportedly wasn’t sold.
“It’s never been done in the history of the country, and I’m going to do that in Arizona?” he asked, according to the Arizona Republic. “No.”
Eastman’s reported conversation with Bowers fell on the same day as the attorney’s Oval Office meeting with Pence, during which Eastman laid out his now-infamous memo explaining how the vice president could hijack Congress’ certification process to keep Trump in power. Eastman proposed that Pence throw out electors from the swing states Biden had won, including Arizona, and let the GOP-controlled state legislatures or U.S. House Republicans choose new electors.
Since details about Eastman’s blueprint for his proposed coup came out this September, the lawyer has publicly insisted that he never thought that the memo’s legal theories carried any weight and that it was only intended to detail “available scenarios that had been floated.”
But Eastman’s denials utterly collapsed in late October, when the lawyer told an undercover progressive activist that he absolutely believed his reasoning in the memo was solid.
The Arizona Republic’s new report on Eastman apparently trying to personally lobby an individual state Republican leader reveals the extent to which the lawyer tried to make his cloak-and-dagger scheme, which was fully backed by Trump, a reality.