Former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief adviser set out in a memo the day before Jan. 6, 2021, that the Vice President would violate federal law if he bowed to pressure from President Donald J. Trump to interfere with the certification. of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
The three-page memo, obtained by Politico and confirmed as authentic by DailyExpertNews, contained arguments from the lead attorney, Greg Jacob, that Mr. Pence could find himself in a legally precarious position if he decided to grant the Electoral College certification. results either unilaterally or by arguing for a 10-day delay in the procedure.
An attorney who advised Mr. Trump, John Eastman, had insisted that Mr. Pence had the power to take both actions, citing the 10-day delay as January 6 approaches. Mr. Eastman expressed his claims during a meeting with Mr. Pence and Mr. Jacob in the Oval Office on January 4.
But Pence, who told Trump in the weeks after the election that he didn’t believe he had such power but would continue investigating the matter, was given concrete guidance from his own aides.
Mr Jacob wrote in the memo that Mr Pence would most likely be dismissed by the courts if he made such a move.
“In the best-case scenario where the courts refused to get involved, the vice president would likely find himself in an isolated standoff against both houses of Congress, as well as most or all applicable state lawmakers, with no neutral arbitrator available. to break the deadlock,” Mr Jacob wrote in the memo.
A spokesman for Mr Pence declined to comment.
After last week’s prime-time hearing, the House committee investigating the Capitol riots will hold three more hearings in the coming week, including one on Thursday, in which Mr. Jacob will be a key witness.
That session is scheduled to focus on the pressure campaign on Mr Pence to involve himself in the certification of the electoral college vote, a procedure that is usually routine.
Mr. Jacob has told the committee that he wrote the memo after meeting Mr. Eastman, Politico reports.
Mr Eastman’s conduct has been a focal point in the House’s investigation into the events leading up to the riot. In March, in a civil suit that arose out of Mr. Eastman’s efforts to prevent the commission from accessing a series of emails related to his advice to Mr. Trump, a federal judge said he and Mr. “more likely than not” committed crimes because they tried to nullify the results of the election.
Mr. Jacob’s memo was one in a series he wrote about the pressure on Mr. Pence after the 2020 election. One of these came in early December, after Mr. Penny mr. Jacob had asked to investigate what his authority was regarding the January 6 certification.
Another memo, also obtained by Politico, was written on January 1. It reviewed the various allegations of widespread fraud pointed out by Mr Trump’s advisers, including in Georgia, where Mr Trump has repeatedly made claims that officials say were unfounded.
The memo contained allegations from six key states — those for which Pence’s advisers expected House lawmakers to try to challenge certification, possibly with support from senators from those states.