Capitol Riot

Trump Attorney Behind Plan to Halt Vote Count Sought a Presidential Pardon After Jan. 6

“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," John Eastman wrote to Rudy Giuliani

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John Eastman, the conservative law professor who gained former President Donald Trump's favor with his unorthodox proposal that a vice president could overturn an election, sought a presidential pardon in the aftermath of the Capitol riot.

According to emails obtained by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection Eastman told Rudy Giuliani he wanted a preemptive pardon for his role in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote.

Several White House aides testified that they distrusted Eastman and grew increasingly concerned about the possible ramifications of what he was proposing.

The committee played videotaped testimony from Eric Herschmann, a lawyer advising Trump, expressing incredulity at Eastman’s legal theory that former Vice President Mike Pence could overturn an election. “Are you out of your effing mind?” Herschmann said to Eastman as he recounted to the committee in recorded testimony. 

Herschmann said he warned Eastman that, “you’re going to cause riots in the streets," but that the professor dismissively said something to the effect of "there’s been violence in the history of our country to protect the democracy or protect the republic."

In his Jan. 6 hearing testimony, White House counsel Eric Herschmann recalled demanding an ‘orderly transition’ the day after the Capitol riot.

In separate video testimony, Trump campaign aide Jason Miller said other aides had told him they thought Eastman “was crazy.”

Jacob said that even Eastman didn't appear to believe his own wild theories. “He said, ‘Absolutely, Al Gore did not have a basis to do it in 2000. Kamala Harris shouldn’t be able to do it in 2024 but I think you should do it today,’” Jacob recounted of one conversation with Eastman.

This is a live update. Click here for complete coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings.

The Associated Press/NBC
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