Mike Pence not only failed to do his duty as Vice-President of the United States on January 6, he also orchestrated the false claim that he did not have the authority to reject illegitimate electoral votes despite a brilliant constitutional scholar making the clear case that he did.
J. Michael Luttig: I was first called by the vice president’s outside counsel, Richard Cullen, on the evening of Jan. 4. We now know that that was after the fateful Oval Office meeting that day between the president and vice president, where John Eastman made the argument that the vice president could overturn the election unilaterally as presiding officer.
Ryan Lizza: And you know John Eastman?
Luttig: John Eastman was one of my clerks — over 25 years ago — and Richard Cullen is one of my closest friends in all of life. And we had been, at that point, talking seemingly every day — if not multiple times a day — throughout the entire Trump administration because, of course, our close friend, Bill Barr, was attorney general.
So he called me. I was having dinner. No big deal: this is like your best friend calling. He called the night of the 4th and says, “Hey, Judge, what do you know about John Eastman?” And I said, “He was a clerk of mine 30 years ago.” He says, “Well, what else do you know?” I said, “I don’t know. John’s an academic, he’s a professor, he’s a constitutional scholar — and he’s a brilliant constitutional scholar.”
Lizza: This is sort of shocking to hear you say this, considering the way that most people have been introduced to John Eastman.
Luttig: Well, read everything that was written about him before, you know, Jan. 6.
Lizza: So that’s interesting: the person who was the architect of the attempted coup, essentially — I think it’s fair to use that language — was actually a well-respected legal mind with sound views of the Constitution and not some legal quack.
Luttig: That’s correct: The farthest thing from it. So Richard said, “Well, you don’t know, do you?” And I said, “Know what?” He said, “John’s advising the president and the vice president that the vice president has this authority [to reject electoral votes] on January 6” — two days hence. And I said, “Wow, no, I did not know that. Well, look, you can tell the vice president that I said that he has no such authority at all. And Richard said he knows that, I said OK, and we hung up.
The “legal authority” cited by Pence was a tweet from a man who didn’t know how to use Twitter and hadn’t even read the Constitutional case presented by the well-respected scholar. All the talk about a coup is nothing more than projection by the traitors who successfully accomplished one by stealing the election with around 20 million fake votes.