Jan. 6 Architect John Eastman Is Still Plotting to Overturn 2020 Election

John Eastman, the conservative lawyer who wrote several memos arguing that then-Vice President Mike Pence could stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, isn’t done fighting to block the last election result.

ABC News reported on Monday that Eastman gave a private briefing to the speaker of the Wisconsin legislature in March and reportedly made the case for decertifying Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. A conservative activist named Jefferson Davis, who attended the briefing, told ABC that Eastman pressed Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos to reclaim Biden’s electors and commit to “either a do over or having a new slate of electors seated that would declare someone else the winner.”

ommittee: Trump Broke Multiple Laws in Attempt to Overturn Election

Eastman told ABC News that he wouldn’t comment on the meeting.

Eastman’s closed-door meeting with Wisconsin Republicans wasn’t the first time he fueled the far-right push to throw out the battleground state’s 2020 election results. As Rolling Stone first reported in February, Eastman wrote an eight-page memo for State Rep. Tim Ramthun arguing that the legislature could toss out election results if there was “acknowledged illegality” in the vote count.

Legal experts have said it’s impossible to decertify the last election and pull back the electors won by Biden. As the Wisconsin Legislative Council concluded last year, “There is no mechanism in state or federal law for the Legislature to reverse certified votes cast by the Electoral College and counted by Congress.”

Eastman’s ongoing effort to overturn the 2020 election come as he faces increasing legal scrutiny for his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The special committee probing the insurrection subpoenaed Eastman, seeking tens of thousands of emails that potentially pertain to his work to challenge the last election.

Click here to read the full article at Rolling Stone

Clinton Campaign, DNC Fined by FEC For Lying About Steele Dossier Payments

The Federal Election Commission has fined both Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee for lying about how they spent money used to fund the now-debunked Steele dossier on former President Donald Trump.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC will be forced to pay $8,000 and $105,000 respectively for mislabeling payments that ultimately went to Fusion GPS, the consulting firm that commissioned the dossier, according to FEC documents viewed by the Post.

The fines stem from a complaint originally filed in 2018 by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which was informed of the outcome on Tuesday.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid more than $1 million combined to powerful Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, which engaged Fusion GPS to dig for dirt on Trump. Fusion GPS, in turn, hired former British spy Christopher Steele — whose namesake dossier included allegations that Russian security services possessed a tape of Trump in a Moscow hotel room with prostitutes who were supposedly urinating on a bed where the Obamas had previously stayed.

The FEC said Clinton and the DNC claimed the money given to Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS was reported on disclosure forms as having gone toward “legal advice and services” rather than opposition research.

The commission ruled it had found probable cause that both the Clinton campaign and the DNC had violated election law by not being “sufficiently specific” about the purpose of the payments and not including detailed information about Fusion GPS in the disclosure forms.

Both the Clinton campaign and the DNC did not admit the FEC’s finding, but said they “will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause,” according to documents reviewed by the Post.

Lawyers for both Democratic entities maintained the payments were reported “in accordance with the law and Commission guidelines,” claiming Fusion GPS’ work would assist Perkins Coie in providing legal advice. They also argued that Fusion GPS’s work was protected under attorney-client privilege. 

Click here to read the full article in the NY POST

The Diminishing Value Of A Trump Endorsement

Running for governor as a disciple of Donald Trump, Janice McGeachin has done almost everything short of surgically attach herself to the former president.

It’s not just that Trump is omnipresent in her advertising, or that McGeachin mimics his flame-throwing rhetoric. She’s also modeled Trump’s flamboyantly defiant behavior, challenging Gov. Brad Little, a fellow Republican, in the upcoming primary and, as lieutenant governor, acting to overturn his policies when he left Idaho.

The reward for McGeachin’s performance is Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement,” which followed her pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago and makes Little one of only two Republican governors in the country seeking reelection to be openly opposed by the ex-president.

Not that the endorsement — make that Total Endorsement— seems to be doing much good. Less than two months before the May 17 primary, McGeachin (pronounced Mick-GHEE-hin) is fighting for credibility and traction in a race that polls show her losing badly.

She is not alone in facing those difficult straits.

Trump coaxed former Georgia Sen. David Perdue into the Republican primary against Brian Kemp after the governor committed the heresy of refusing to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state. But Perdue is also struggling ahead of the May 24 GOP primary, as are candidates Trump endorsed in Senate primaries in North Carolina and Alabama.

All of which suggests Trump’s sway over Republican voters — and, by extension, the Republican Party — is diminishing the further he gets from the White House.

“A president’s endorsement is going to carry more weight than an ex-president’s endorsement,” said Q. Whitfield Ayres, a GOP strategist with extensive experience in congressional and gubernatorial races nationwide. “Especially an ex-president without access to Twitter and social media.”

Polls reflect the waning of Trump’s influence.

A January survey by NBC News found that more than half — 56% — of Republicans interviewed described themselves as more supportive of the GOP than of Trump personally, while 36% saw themselves as more supportive of Trump than of the Republican Party.

That’s a near-total reversal from 2020, when 54% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they considered themselves more supportive of Trump than of the party, and 38% were more supportive of the GOP than of Trump.

In a separate measure, a Quinnipiac Poll last month showed, by a 52%-36% margin, Republicans sided with Mike Pence over Trump on the question of whether the former vice president could have overturned the 2020 presidential election, as Trump urged.

Of course, much could change before Republicans vote in May. But if Idaho — a state Trump won by nearly 2-to-1 over Joe Biden — is any indication, it will take more than a blessing from the former president to boost his preferred candidates into office.

Issues matter and so, most especially, does the quality of each candidate.

Little, 68, an affable third-generation rancher and former head of the Idaho Assn. of Commerce and Industry, is a living embodiment of the business-oriented pragmatic conservatism that has long held sway here.

As governor, he’s cut taxes and regulations and kept a light hand during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed businesses to stay open during the worst outbreaks but pitched the healthcare system into crisis for several months.

His reelection strategy essentially amounts to doing his job and ignoring McGeachin.

On Tuesday, Little appeared in the governor’s ceremonial office — marble columns, gold drapery, big Western oil paintings — to announce “a new online, one-stop shop” to find public meeting information for the state’s executive branch agencies. Standing before a bank of cameras, Little also worked in a lighthearted reference to his aggressive deregulation efforts, saying anyone who didn’t know his record was “living on a foreign planet.”

For her part, McGeachin, 59, was a mainstream conservative during a decade in the Legislature before transforming herself — like many seeking opportunity and advancement in the Trump era — into an acolyte of the man she calls “the greatest president of our lifetime.”

Her campaign has consisted largely of attention-seeking stunts, with COVID-19 the wedge she’s used to break from Little. (The two were elected separately, not as running mates.)

On two occasions when the governor left the state, McGeachin used her temporary authority to issue executive orders prohibiting localities from enforcing mask mandates and testing and vaccine requirements. Little immediately reversed her actions and secured an opinion from the state attorney general limiting McGeachin’s powers in his absence.

The governor, for good measure, also stopped telling the lieutenant governor his travel plans.

Lately, McGeachin’s candidacy has further degenerated.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

California Bar Investigating Trump lawyer For Ethic Breaches

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The State Bar of California says it is investigating well-known conservative attorney John Eastman for possible ethics violations after the one-time candidate for state attorney general argued former U.S. President Donald Trump could stay in office despite losing the 2020 election.

Eastman, the former dean of Chapman University law school in Southern California, was one of Trump’s lawyers during the election. He wrote a memo that argued former Vice President Mike Pence could keep Trump in power by overturning the results of the election during a joint session of Congress convened to count electoral votes. Critics have likened that to instructions for staging a coup.

Pence refused to do that. But on the day of the vote count, Eastman spoke at a rally of Trump supporters Washington. Shortly after that, Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Trump eventually left office. Since then, a committee of U.S. lawmakers investigating the attack has subpoenaed Eastman, along with nine other former White House aides.

Tuesday, the State Bar of California confirmed it has been investigating Eastman since September for potentially breaking the law and state ethics rules “in relation to the November 2020 presidential election.” Such investigations are usually kept secret, but the State Bar’s rules say it can publicly confirm them “when warranted for protection of the public.”

In a news release, the bar said “details of the investigation must remain confidential” to comply with state law and “give the investigation the greatest chance of success.”

George Cardona, the State Bar’s chief trial counsel, investigates and prosecutes attorney disciplinary matters before the State Bar Court, which can recommend attorneys be either suspended or, in some cases, lose their licenses to practice law. The California Supreme Court ultimately decides what to do.

“A number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct,” Cardona said. “We want to thank those who took the time to bring to our attention this information, which serves as the starting point for our investigation.”

Click here to read the full article at AP News

Trump Praised Putin’s Justification To Invade Ukraine As ‘Genius’ And ‘Savvy’

Former President Donald Trump praised Vladimir Putin in a podcast interview on Tuesday, describing the Russian president’s justification for invading Ukraine as “savvy” and “genius.”

In an appearance on the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,” Trump said Putin’s recognition of the independence of the Ukrainian breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk — two-thirds of which are controlled by Ukraine and are not recognized by most other nations but backed by Russia — was a smart move.

“I went in yesterday, and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said when asked about the news. “I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper.”

Trump baselessly claimed that the reason the Russian president chose to invade Ukraine now — rather than during his own presidency — was that he had a better relationship with Putin than President Joe Biden did.

“I knew Putin very well. I got along with him great. He liked me. I liked him,” Trump said. “I mean, you know, he’s a tough cookie, got a lot of the great charm and a lot of pride. But the way he — and he loves his country, you know? He loves his country.”

Trump’s assertion that Putin moved to invade Ukraine because Trump was no longer in office ignored that Russia was fueling a war against Ukrainian forces in the Donbas throughout his time in the White House. Moreover, Trump was impeached in 2019, in part, for withholding about $400 million in military aid from Ukraine as it contended with this conflict against Kremlin-backed rebels. The war has killed over 13,000 people and displaced 1.5 million.

Trump froze the congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine as he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations into Biden and his son Hunter over baseless allegations of corruption. He also wanted Zelensky to pursue an inquiry into a bogus conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. 

Asked what went wrong with respect to Ukraine, Trump on Tuesday repeated his long-standing and false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

“Well, what went wrong was a rigged election and what went wrong is a candidate that shouldn’t be there and a man that has no concept of what he’s doing,” Trump said, later adding that an invasion “never would have happened with us — had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened.”

Trump also tied the escalating tensions in Ukraine to long-standing conservative grievances about immigration, saying that the US should employ military force akin to that used by Russia to ensure the US-Mexico border was secure.

“We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen,” Trump said. “They’re going to keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy. … I know him very well — very, very well.”

And when asked whether he was concerned about the US becoming militarily involved in a conflict in Ukraine — which the US has resisted — Trump again brought up the US-Mexico border.

“I’d rather see them send soldiers to our southern border,” he said, referring to US troops. “I don’t like the idea he’s sending a small number of troops.”

Trump also said the US had not responded forcefully enough to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

“It’s a joke compared to what the other side does. You know, he sends 3,000 troops. I heard this morning, 3,000 troops. What’s that going to do except get in trouble?” Trump said. “No, I would like to see our southern border protected, and they are handling Ukraine so badly.”

Click here to read the full article at Business Insider

GOP Makes Gains Among Hispanic Voters Since 2020 Election: Poll

The Republican Party has made massive gains among Hispanic voters since the 2020 presidential election, cutting the Democratic advantage by nearly 20 percent, according to a new survey. 

Democrats only hold an advantage over Republicans with Hispanic voters at 44 percent to 37 percent, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Battleground Survey Project released Friday.

The margin has significantly narrowed since the 2000 exit polls, which showed that Hispanic voters were 63 percent Democratic and 36 percent Republican, researchers said.

“Hispanic movement toward Republicans is real. Republicans are winning on the issues that matter most to Hispanic voters and are well-positioned to capitalize on Democrats’ extremely unpopular policies,” the NRCC said in a memo outlining the survey. 

“But this isn’t a done deal. Republican candidates need to continue fighting to win over Hispanic voters with a message focused on the economy and why Republicans are best positioned to protect the American Dream so many Hispanics came to this country to achieve.”

When pressed on specific issues, the survey found, Hispanic voters in battleground districts are “extremely” or “very concerned” about inflation (78 percent), cost of food and groceries (74 percent) and gas prices (70 percent). 

Seventy-four percent of respondents agreed that parents should have a say in what is taught at their children’s schools — a key Republican talking point in recent years — while 22 percent disagreed. 

Click here to read the full article at the NYPost

With Trump, Against Cheney

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy endorses primary challenger to the Wyoming Republican.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed the GOP primary challenger to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney on Thursday, his latest show of fealty to former President Trump as Republicans try to take control of Congress.

McCarthy did not mention Cheney by name as he announced he was backing attorney Harriet Hageman in the August primary.

“The most successful representatives in Congress focus on the needs of their constituents, and throughout her career, Harriet has championed America’s natural resources and helped the people of Wyoming reject burdensome and onerous government overreach,” the Bakersfield Republican said.

Hageman — once a Cheney ally — did not hold back, saying that Cheney has become an ineffective leader and was being used by Democrats to “achieve their partisan goals.”

“Cheney is doing nothing to help us, she is actively damaging the Republican Party — both in Wyoming and nationally — and it’s time for her to go,” said Hageman, who has frequently battled the federal government over its environmental policies and unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.

A Cheney spokesman pointed to comments from prominent Wyoming journalists deriding the importance of a California politician’s endorsement to Hageman’s prospects.

“Wow, she must be really desperate,” spokesman Jeremy Adler said.

McCarthy’s move against Cheney is not surprising. Though Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, overwhelmingly supported Trump’s policies, she became an outspoken critic of his bogus claims that the 2020 election was rigged and of his role in urging his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Click here to read the full article at LA Times

McConnell Breaks With RNC: Jan. 6 ‘Violent Insurrection’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized the Republican National Committee (RNC) for its censure of Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and broke with their language on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, calling it a “violent insurrection.”

“It was a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election. … That’s what it was,” McConnell said. 

The RNC sparked fierce backlash after it described Jan. 6, when a mob of former President Trump’s followers breached the Capitol, as “legitimate political discourse” in a resolution censuring Kinzinger and Cheney. 

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appeared to try to clarify the resolution, alleging in a statement that the two GOP lawmakers were involved in persecuting citizens “engaged in legitimate political discourse” but “that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.” The last section was not in the RNC resolution. 

Read the full article at the Hill.com

‘Big Lie’ Proponent John Eastman Uses Christian Crowdfunding Site To Raise Money For His Legal Bills

A lawyer who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally, spreading the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election, is now using a Christian crowdfunding site to raise money for his legal fees. 

Originally, John Eastman set a $100,000 goal for the fundraiser on GiveSendGo. Upon reaching that objective in just a week, he upped the target to $150,000. He’s now topped that amount by $271, having raised money from 2,179 donors. The crowdfunding site which launched around 2014, says it is “meant to give Christians the opportunity to be supported by the body of Christ.”  

An attorney and former dean of Chapman University’s law school, Eastman represented Trump in legal challenges to the 2020 election. In November, the House’s Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Eastman. Earlier this month, he declined to testify, asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to Politico, which cited a letter Eastman’s attorneys sent the committee. 

Click here to read the full article at Forbes

House Votes To Hold Meadows In Contempt

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Tuesday to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a special committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, setting the stage for possible criminal prosecution of an advisor to former President Trump.

The vote, 222 to 208, was the second time in recent months that the House had held a former Trump advisor in contempt, and it was the first time since the 1830s that the chamber had leveled such a sanction on one of its former members. Two Republicans joined all Democrats present in voting for the measure.

“Mr. Meadows is a central participant and witness to the events of Jan. 6,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), a member of the House committee investigating the insurrection, said before the contempt vote. “If he can get away with ignoring the law, and witnesses summoned before Congress can merely pick and choose when they comply, our power of oversight will be gone.”

The contempt vote came a month after the House took the same action against Stephen K. Bannon, alleging the the Trump confidant and former White House advisor had refused to comply with the House committee’s subpoena for information and testimony. Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on two charges of contempt of Congress. He is set to go on trial in July.

The House action against Meadows followed a 9-0 contempt vote on Monday by the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers on the panel said Meadows initially provided 9,000 pages of records before refusing to provide more records or show up for a deposition last week. They said Meadows is uniquely positioned to provide information to discuss the role Trump and the White House played in inciting the riot and responding to it.

“We’ve given Mr. Meadows every opportunity to cooperate with our investigation,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House panel, said Tuesday. “We’ve been more than fair. He’s brought this situation on himself. But there is no doubt in my mind that he’s in contempt of Congress and has to be held accountable.”

Republican House members countered that Democrats were pursuing the contempt charges for partisan reasons. Just two of the nine Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt did so on Tuesday. Meadows served as a GOP House member from 2013 to 2020, when he took over as Trump’s chief of staff.

“He is a good man, and he’s my friend. This is as wrong as it gets,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said before the vote. “Your lust for power, your lust to get your opponents is so intense that you don’t care.”

Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger III, has asserted that the former White House advisor cannot comply with the subpoena for two major reasons. As a former top presidential advisor, Meadows shouldn’t be compelled to testify before Congress because it might result in staffers wary of providing candid advice to presidents.

He also said Meadows did not wish to undermine Trump’s assertion of executive privilege, a legal doctrine that has allowed presidents to withhold certain confidential communications from public disclosure.

Meadows “has fully cooperated as to documents in his possession that are not privileged and has sought various means to provide other information while continuing to honor the former president’s privilege claims,” Terwillger said in a statement Tuesday before the vote.

Citing executive privilege, Trump has sought to block the National Archives from turning over his White House records to the House committee. His case suffered a setback last week when a federal appeals court rejected his arguments, setting the stage for those documents to be given to Congress if the Supreme Court declines to intervene.

The House panel, which has two Republicans, has interviewed more than 300 witnesses and subpoenaed more than 40 people as it seeks to paint a clearer picture of the day’s violence and what contributed to it.

Goaded on by Trump’s months-long, falsehood-filled campaign that the 2020 election had been stolen, hundreds of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, hoping to block the certification of President Biden’s electoral college victory. More than 700 people have been charged by federal prosecutors in the Capitol riot.

Click here to read the full article at LA Times