Pence Aide Marc Short Spills All The Tea On Trump Coup Plot To Grand Jury
Yesterday we got the best evidence yet that the Justice Department is investigating high-level Trump administration figures for their role in the fraudulent electors scheme to overturn President Joe Biden's electoral win. ABC News was first to report that Mike Pence's former top aide Marc Short testified Friday before a federal grand jury in DC. The Wall Street Journal confirmed the story, adding that Pence's chief counsel Greg Jacob has also testified for the panel about the desperate plot to keep Trump in power despite receiving seven million fewer votes than Joe Biden.
The plot cooked up by Trump's lawyer John Eastman was hilariously illegal from the jump. At first he claimed that Republican-dominated swing state legislatures needed to convene and claw back the Biden electors, recasting them for Trump — a plan of dubious legality, since it would violate the states' own laws dictating how electors should be chosen. When that precondition failed to materialize, he came to the sudden realization that Pence had the unilateral right to recognize the cosplay electors who had sworn themselves in and submitted fraudulent electoral certificates to the National Archives. What a lucky coincidence!
This effort was organized by Rudy Giuliani and the Trump campaign, and indeed Giuliani and Eastman have also received subpoenas from the DC grand jury. Note that many of the fake electors never received a single vote, having been substituted in after members of the official slate noped out of this harebrained venture. (As in, the official slate of Republican electors who had been voted on and would have served, had Trump actually won.) For instance, John Isakson, son of late Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, was replaced after he refused to participate in what he called "political gamesmanship." In fact, four of the supposed "electors" who signed their names to the fake Georgia certificate were never on the ballot at all — something to keep in mind when these goobers insist they were just preserving their options in case some judge could be persuaded to overturn the election results and, say, toss out all the mail-in ballots.
Everyone at the White House knew this in real time. Immediately after the election, the Trump campaign put out an internal memo debunking the allegations of vote rigging by Dominion and Smartmatic machines. And every lawyer who wasn't named Eastman, Giuliani, Sidney Powell or Jeffrey Clark told Trump that there was no fraud and that the fake electors scheme was both unconstitutional and preposterous.
The Journal reports that the grand jury questioning focused on Eastman's and Giuliani's pressure campaign to get Pence to go along with the illegal scheme. One incident of interest occurred on January 4, 2021, just two days before the Capitol riot, when lawyers for Pence and Trump had a showdown in the Oval Office.
Greg Jacob described the event in his public testimony before the January 6 Committee, saying, “During that meeting on the Fourth, I think I raised the problem that both of Mr. Eastman’s proposals would violate several provisions of the Electoral Count Act. Mr. Eastman acknowledged that that was the case, that even what he viewed as the more politically palatable option would violate several provisions." This would certainly suggest that Eastman, as well as Trump, knew perfectly well that what they were advocating was illegal, with Eastman acknowledging that it would likely be rejected by every justice on the Supreme Court.
Indeed, Judge David Carter tossed Eastman's claim of work product privilege over some of his emails because the entire plan was premised on not getting the electors scheme in front of a judge. Work product privilege only applies to documents and communications in preparation for litigation, and Eastman knew damn well that no court was going to bless his unholy coup plot.
There's also a particularly damning email exchange between Eastman and Jacob that took place after the Capitol had been overrun, with Eastman citing the delay caused by a violent riot as justification to further violate the law.
"So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I ask for you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days," he wrote to Jacob, who had been sheltering under the Capitol with the vice president as the mob rampaged, shouting "Hang Mike Pence!"
Absolutely none of this is new news. It's all been on the public record for months. And now it appears that Attorney General Merrick Garland is finally taking it seriously, perhaps looking to charge the people serving up the Big Lie bullshit, not just the dipshits who gobbled it up.
About damn time!
Follow Liz Dye on Twitter!
Click the widget to keep your Wonkette ad-free and feisty. And if you're ordering from Amazon, use this link, because reasons.
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.