Trump’s ‘Certifiably Crazy’ Plan to Pressure Pence into Handing Over the Election

by | Jun 17, 2022 | Quick Facts, Opinions

Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig. Image: January 6th Hearing screen grab

Trump’s ‘Certifiably Crazy’ Plan to Pressure Pence into Handing Over the Election

by | Jun 17, 2022 | Quick Facts, Opinions

Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig. Image: January 6th Hearing screen grab
Had Pence obeyed Trump, said retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig, "America would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis."

Yesterday’s public hearing of the House January 6 committee focused largely on former President Donald Trump’s futile attempt to convince Mike Pence, his vice president, to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“In today’s hearing, we learned details about how Trump pressured Vice President Mike Pence to engage in a criminal conspiracy to steal the 2020 election,” Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and co-chair of the Not Above the Law, said in a statement. “In firsthand testimony from the former counsel of the vice president, we heard how far Trump and his allies would go to stop the peaceful transfer of power, including by inciting violence.”

“We saw how far they’d go to snuff out our vote,” Gilbert added, “even with full understanding of the illegal and unconstitutional nature of their scheme.”

A memo by right-wing attorney John Eastman—who, according to testimony from Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), sought a preemptive presidential pardon for his actions—featured prominently during the third session of the committee.

When questioned about Eastman’s belief that Pence had the power to reject the vote of state electors, retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig said that “there was no basis in the Constitution or laws of the United States at all, for the theory espoused by Mr. Eastman.”

Luttig—who said he “would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the vice president overturn the 2020 election”—condemned Eastman’s argument as “constitutional mischief.”

Had Pence obeyed Trump, Luttig added, “America would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis.”

Greg Jacobs, Pence’s former general counsel, testified that “the vice president’s first instinct when he heard this theory was that there was no way that our framers… would ever have put one person… in a role to have decisive impact on the outcome of the election.”

When asked how Pence responded to another attempt by Eastman—this one after the deadly January 6 insurrection—to get him to postpone certification of the election, Jacob said the former vice president called the notion “rubber room stuff.”

When asked to explain the term, Jacob replied, “certifiably crazy.”

Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann testified that he asked Eastman “are you out of your effin’ mind” when he heard his theory, adding that “you’re completely crazy.”

“Mike Pence said no,” committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) noted during the proceedings. “He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong. We were fortunate for Mr. Pence’s courage. On January 6, our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe.”

“That courage put him in tremendous danger,” Thompson continued. “When Mike Pence made it clear that he wouldn’t give in to Donald Trump’s scheme, Donald Trump turned the mob on him—a mob that was chanting ‘hang Mike Pence,’ a mob that had built a hangman’s gallows just outside the Capitol.”

Christina Harvey, executive director of the progressive advocacy group Stand Up America, said that “after today’s hearing, it’s apparent how close we came to even greater bloodshed and the brink of autocracy.”

“For almost three hours, the January 6 committee provided a chilling look at President Trump’s criminal campaign to pressure Vice President Pence into overturning the 2020 election,” she added. “He pressured, badgered, and ultimately threatened Pence via tweet in a desperate attempt to stop the electoral count and overturn the will of voters.”

Republished with permission from Common Dreams, by Brett Wilkins

<a href="" target="_blank">Common Dreams</a>

Common Dreams

Common Dreams has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997. They are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Jun 27 2022

40 Ways the GOP Has Become a Clear and Present Danger to Our Country

Here is a list of vital things to remember when deciding who and what to vote for in upcoming primaries and on November 8th.
Jun 26 2022

A Supreme Court Scholar Explains the Larger Impact of Dobbs, AKA the Overturning of Roe v Wade

There is a much darker aspect to the “Dobbs” ruling. In overturning Roe, the majority’s opinion offers a new and weaker standard for overturning the past...
Jun 25 2022

The Supreme Court’s Overturn of Roe v. Wade Turns Back the Clock on Democracy Itself

It’s not a ‘democracy’ when minority-elected presidents nominate Supreme Court justices who overturn constitutional protections and give state governments the power to...
Jun 24 2022

From Fiction to Fact: The Handmaid’s Tale Is Becoming a How-to Manual

Now that we have witnessed the demise of Roe v. Wade at the hands of a Trump-stacked Supreme Court, the story of The Handmaid’s Tale begins to loom large...
Jun 24 2022

The Far-Reaching Implications of the Supreme Court’s Concealed Weapons Ruling

The ramifications of Supreme Court’s shift to “originalism” are just becoming clear. Beyond this gun ruling, the effects will continue to be seen in...
Jun 23 2022

Time to Break Up Monopolies to Prevent Shortages Like Baby Formula

Food experts have warned for years that monopolies make our food supply vulnerable. Now families with babies are paying the price.
toddler boy wearing white shirt leaning back on brown wooden wall
Jun 23 2022

The Best of Times: Making the Case for Optimism

With all the bad news in the world today, you wouldn’t think that the best of times were anywhere near. It is time to take stock of the growing number of things...
Jun 22 2022

Going Bananas: How Ocean Freight Profiteering Is Adding to Inflation

A cadre of ocean freight carriers are charging exorbitant, potentially illegal, fees on shipping containers stuck because of congestion at ports. Sellers of furniture,...
Jun 21 2022

Senator Ron Johnson Implicated in Fake Elector Certificates Scandal

Trump and his MAGA allies planned, promoted, and paid for a seditious conspiracy to overturn an election they lost, and Ron Johnson attempted to deliver it to D.C. on a...
Jun 20 2022

Insurrection: The United States Came Within 40 Feet of Becoming a Dictatorship on January 6th

As the January 6th mob approached the Senate chamber and Secret Service agents hustled Mike Pence out, rioters who wanted to kill Pence came within 40 feet of...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This