In an interview released on Thursday, John Eastman restated that he’s an unreconstructed believer that the 2020 election was stolen by the left.
Chairman of the Claremont Institute’s Board of Directors Tom Klingenstein conducted the interview, which was released in three parts, the last of which was published on Thursday.
Klingenstein asked Eastman whether he would have acted in the same way in 1960 as he did in 2020, referencing the belief on the right that John F. Kennedy stole that year’s election from Richard Nixon.
Eastman replied no, and added that the stakes of 2020 represented an “existential threat to the very survivability, not just of our nation, but of the example that our nation, properly understood, provides to the world.”
The Trump 2020 lawyer went on to reference the Declaration of Independence, saying that “our founders lay this case out.”
“There’s actually a provision in the Declaration of Independence that a people will suffer abuses while they remain sufferable, tolerable while they remain tolerable,” he said. “At some point abuses become so intolerable that it becomes not only their right but their duty to alter or abolish the existing government.”
“So that’s the question,” he added. “Have the abuses or the threat of abuses become so intolerable that we have to be willing to push back?”
The interview was recorded before Special Counsel Jack Smith charged President Trump with four counts related to his efforts to reverse the 2020 election. Though Eastman does not appear in the indictment by name, his attorney confirmed to multiple media outlets that the document refers to him as “Co-Conspirator 2.”
Eastman has not been charged with a crime, and his lawyer said last month that he planned to send a letter to state and federal officials investigating Jan. 6 explaining that Eastman committed no crimes.
Eastman made the stunning remarks, which appear to repeat the suggestion that overthrowing the government is a legitimate means to stop what Eastman described as “the modern left wing,” in the last of a series of interviews with Klingenstein. Part one, published in June, addresses Eastman’s belief that the election was stolen. Part two covers what Eastman saw as the legal remedy, while part three asks, as Klingenstein put it, “should you and the president have pursued that legal remedy?”
Eastman said in the interview that his own actions and statements during the run-up to January 6 had been mischaracterized, and at one point claimed that Trump himself read a series of academic law review articles about the Electoral Count Act to brush up on the relevant law.
But it’s the threat that Eastman sees the left as posing which runs through the interview. He at one point describes it broadly as an attempt to “completely repudiate every one of our founding principles,” and in more detail as an attack on everything from sexual and gender norms to gas stoves. He warns of “OSHA telling me what kind of chair I can have in my home office.”
Eastman dropped specific claims of voter fraud in the third interview, and instead pivoted to claims that government agencies had worked to thwart the 2020 election and would do the same in 2024. He cited the Twitter Files, as well as claims that the intelligence suppressed information about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“If those are the stakes, what are you supposed to do?” he asked. “Sit around and twiddle your thumbs?”