Pence’s lawyer told him blocking voter certification would likely lead to court loss, ‘showdown’ with Congress

Former Vice President Pence’s attorney warned him on Jan. 5, 2021, that if he blocked the certification of electoral votes the following day, as then-President Trump urged, he would likely face a loss in court or a “showdown” with Congress, according to a memo first published on Saturday.

In the memorandumwhich was obtained by politicalPence’s attorney, Greg Jacob, weighed in on a proposal by Trump legal adviser John Eastman on how Pence could refuse to count electoral votes from “any state for which an alternative but uncertified list of voters has been submitted.”

“If the vice president implemented Professor Eastman’s proposal, he would probably lose in court,” Jacob concluded. “In a best-case scenario, in which the courts refused to get involved, the vice president would likely find himself in an isolated matchup against both houses of Congress, as well as most or all of the relevant state legislatures, with no neutral arbiter available. . to break the impasse.

Pence’s final decision to go against Trump and continue as normal with the certification of votes created tension between the two and made the then vice president a target amid the violent insurrection of January 6, where many Trump supporters expressed his anger at Pence for his refusal to overturn the election results.

Since then, Pence has reiterated that he did not have the authority to do so. “President Trump is wrong. He had no right to override the election,” the former vice president said earlier this year. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is hardly any idea more anti-American than the notion that anyone could elect the American president.”

The release of the memo from Jacob to Pence comes days after the first in a series of public hearings by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill.

In Thursday’s prime-time hearing, the committee laid out the framework of its case by asserting that Trump was at the center of an effort to stay in power that led directly to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Jacob, who met with the House panel in February, is expected to testify at an upcoming hearing.

In the memo to Pence, Jacob noted that Eastman himself acknowledged that his proposal would violate the Election Count Act of 1887 and exposed multiple provisions of that law that Pence would be violating if he withheld certification as Eastman urged.

Jacob also said that Eastman’s advice was contradicted by the 1877 Election Commission decision written by a Supreme Court justice.

In that decision, Republican Supreme Court Justice Joseph Bradley wrote of the vice president: “He is not vested with any authority to conduct any investigation outside of the joint meeting of the two chambers.”

Jacob further noted that the proposal was “heavily in tension” with a federal district court ruling issued the day before.

During the attack on the Capitol, Jacob sent an email to Eastman.

“And thanks to your shit, we are under siege,” he wrote.

Leave a Comment