While Mike Pence was hiding in a secure area of the Capitol on Jan. 6 as protesters were calling for him to be hanged, an attorney for President Donald Trump argued via email with a key aide of Pence's that his boss had caused the violence himself.
"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," the attorney, John C. Eastman, wrote to Pence chief counsel Greg Jacob, reports The Washington Post Saturday, after obtaining a draft report Jacob wrote about that day.
Jacob, who had described the violence in the email as a "siege," included the exchange in a draft article about Trump's outside legal team in January. He later chose not to publish the report, but The Post, which obtained a copy of it, notes that Jacob said he was shocked by Eastman's actions.
By sending the email while Pence was in hiding, Jacob wrote, Eastman "displayed a shocking lack of awareness of how those practical implications were playing out in real time."
The article, along with Eastman's emails and his other actions show that the attorney's attempts to convince Pence to block his boss' defeat had been even more extensive than previously reported.
Jacob at the time said Pence's team was hammered with a "barrage of bankrupt legal theories" with how the vice president could have blocked the election certification.
Eastman denied to The Post that he blamed Pence for the violence at the Capitol, but confirmed the email exchange.
He further argued that Trump's team had been in the right to use all legal means to challenge the election results, and stood by the legal advice that he gave Pence about blocking the congressional certifications.
In addition, Eastman said he wrote his email after Jacob blamed his "bull****" legal advice for Pence's team being "under siege," and that Jacob later apologized.
However, a person familiar with the email exchange said Jacob apologized for his profanity but still called Eastman's advice to the Pence team "snake oil."
A spokesman for Trump did not return The Post's request for comment.
Jacob also wrote in his draft article that Eastman and another Trump attorney, Rudy Giuliani, were part of "a cadre of outside lawyers" spinning a "web of lies and disinformation" to push Pence to act and that legal authorities should consider taking action against them.
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