John Eastman Has A Lot More Coup-Related Lunacy To Answer For

Right Wing Extremism

Donald Trump's coup plotter, John C. Eastman, has tried to distance himself from Trump's first failed insurrection. He wrote his coup memo at the behest of some unnamed seditionist on Trump's legal team, you see. It was more like coup fan fiction than an outline for ending American democracy!

Of course, that's not what Eastman told David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network in September, or undercover reporter Lauren Windsor in late October. Behind what he assumes are closed doors, he's an enthusiastic fascist Big Lie promoter.

More damning information emerged late last week. The Washington Post reports that Eastman emailed Mike Pence's chief counsel, Greg Jacob, during the January 6 insurrection, apparently to taunt him.

"The 'siege' is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened," Eastman wrote to Jacob, referring to Trump's claims of voter fraud.

Eastman put “siege" in mocking quotes because Jacob, who was hiding out with Pence and others in a secure area, had described themselves as under siege from Trump's unhinged mob. Eastman blamed Pence because he hadn't brazenly helped Trump steal the presidency in broad daylight. Pence is not someone for whom we're ever tempted to feel sorry, but this is still jacked up.


Jacob had included Eastman's emails in an opinion article about Trump's legal team. The article was ultimately never printed, but the Post obtained a copy. Jacob wrote that Eastman "displayed a shocking lack of awareness of how those practical implications were playing out in real time."

Or maybe he was all too aware of the situation, and was trying to leverage Pence to fold for Trump like the reliable patio furniture he'd been for the past four years. When Kevin McCarthy reportedly begged Trump over the phone to call off this mob, Trump responded, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

This is callous indifference to human life. Worse, we have evidence that Trump had some control over the mob. When he finally got around to releasing his mushy statement to the terrorists, there's actual video showing insurrectionists standing down, as if they were soldiers receiving orders from their commander. That was well after cops had been beaten almost to death and a woman had died. But we guess human life didn't mean much to Trump when he still thought he could steal an election.

Jacob declared in his draft op-ed:

In the days and hours leading up to the counting of the electoral votes in Congress, a cadre of outside lawyers to the President spun a web of lies and disinformation, to him and to the public, for the purpose of pressuring the Vice President to betray his oath to uphold our laws and the Constitution of the United States. That was a fool's errand.

Eastman confirmed the emails are his but he has zero regrets. He says Trump's elite strike force of hacks were entitled to pursue "every legal means" in contesting the election Trump lost. He fails to concede that Trump's campaign had exhausted every legal option, and judge after judge in court after court had pointed and laughed. I can believe your house belongs to me, but after my baseless suits have been thrown out of court, I don't have the right to send a mob to claim your home as mine.

Jacob was optimistic enough when he wrote his draft to assume the “moment of immediate crisis has passed." It hasn't and the Big Lie has only grown more powerful, consuming almost the entire GOP. However, Jacob believed 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."

This is where we differ from Jacob. Sure, we think every lawyer who enabled Trump's efforts to overturn a free and fair election should lose their license. However, they are not the reason we suffered a constitutional crisis. Trump himself is to blame. He's not a gullible sap who was victim of bad actors. He opened every door of the White House and invited these scumbags inside. He welcomed anyone willing to tell him what he wanted to hear and eventually unleashed a mob on the people who dared tell him the truth.

[Washington Post]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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