A scathing criticism by an ex-aide of former Vice President Mike Pence about “coup memo” lawyer John Eastman has become a key part of one group’s effort to push the California State Bar Association to investigate Eastman.
Greg Jacob harshly criticized Eastman in an op-ed he drafted in January, saying Eastman was part of a “cadre of outside lawyers who spun a web of lies and disinformation … for the purpose of pressuring the Vice President to betray his oath.” The nonpartisan U.S. Democracy Center this week used Jacob’s arguments in a letter sent to the bar association calling for an investigation of Eastman’s activities aimed at overturning the presidential election.
The op-ed was not published at the time, but its existence and contents were revealed by The Washington Post late last month. Jacob also wrote that the “legal profession should dispassionately examine whether the attorneys involved should be disciplined for using their credentials to sell a stream of snake oil to the most powerful office in the world, wrapped in the guise of a lawyer’s advice.”
After the election, Eastman met with then-President Donald Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in the Oval Office and outlined in memos how Pence could unilaterally throw out electoral votes to circumvent American voters’ choice for president and swing the election to Trump.
The 35-page Democracy Center letter including Jacob’s criticism also detailed several activities Eastman participated in that were recently revealed, including a massive video call in which he, Trump and Giuliani urged 300 Republican state legislators to throw out electoral votes.
In addition, it describes a number of closed-door meetings and public appearances in which Eastman falsely claimed that Pence had unilateral power to usurp the electoral process.
The Democracy Center letter, sent Wednesday, was an update to a complaint filed last month.
Jacob told The Washington Post that, as he and Pence were hunkered down in the Capitol building as rioters called for hanging the vice president, Eastman was emailing him to blame Pence for the violence because of his refusal to throw out electoral votes.
“Lawyers have a solemn duty to serve as guardians of the rule of law, including upholding our constitutional democracy,” said Democracy Center Legal Director Christine P. Sun. “The more we learn about John Eastman’s actions leading into, and following Trump’s attempt to undermine the will of American voters, the more anti-democratic he appears. It’s paramount the Bar investigate these serious allegations.”
Eastman, who has been subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Check out the latest letter calling for an investigation into Eastman’s activities here.
Read Greg Jacob’s full draft op-ed about Eastman and Giuliani here.