Trump lawyer blamed Mike Pence for Capitol riot as the vice president hid from mob

Lawyer who wrote Trump ‘coup memo’ blamed Mike Pence for causing insurrection as he hid from rioters

Bevan Hurley
Saturday 30 October 2021 16:46 BST
Trump could be blocked from running again, former White House ethics lawyer says

As Mike Pence took shelter in the US Capitol from armed rioters who were threatening to hang him, a Trump lawyer emailed the vice president’s top legal advisor to accuse him of being responsible for the carnage.

John Eastman, who was advising former President Donald Trump on how to overturn the election results, sent an email during the assault on the US Capitol to Mr Pence’s chief counsel Greg Jacob to blame them for the deadly riot.

“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,” Mr Eastman wrote.

The Washington Post reported that the email exchange took place as Mr Pence and his advisors were under armed guard in a secure area.

Mr Jacob wrote of the email exchange in a draft opinion article that he wrote in January but chose not to publish.

Mr Eastman had “displayed a shocking lack of awareness of how those practical implications were playing out in real time,” Mr Jacob wrote, in the draft article obtained by the Washington Post.

Mr Eastman, the author of a so-called “coup memo”, confirmed to the Post the authenticity of the email exchange, but said he was not blaming the Vice President for the riots.

The memo, which became public in September, asked Mr Pence to dismantle the results in the US Senate “without asking for permission”.

Mr Eastman’s memo, which never came to fruition, asked tried to pressure the Vice President to interrupt the normal procedure of reading out the Electoral College vote by abruptly announcing that Arizona had sent “multiple slates of electors”.

The Eric Jacob opinion article offers fresh details of the efforts made by the Trump legal team to pressure Mr Pence to overturn the results of the elections.

Mike Pence presiding over the certification of the election results on 6 January
Mike Pence presiding over the certification of the election results on 6 January (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Jacob blamed a “cadre of outside lawyers” who “spun a web of lies and disinformation” to Mr Trump to force Mr Pence to block certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

“The Vice President never wavered under the barrage of bankrupt legal theories, just as he never left the Capitol building when the assault began,” Mr Jacob wrote.

He went on to call for an investigation into whether Mr Trump’s lawyers had “grossly abused their credentials”.

“Vice President Pence rejected the spurious legal theories that were pitched to him, and he did his duty. An inquiry should be made into whether the President’s outside lawyers did theirs.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in