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Trump’s Lawyer John Eastman Asked for Pardon After Giving Illegal Advice to Overturn Election

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During Thursday’s third public hearing of the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann described in recorded testimony his call with John Eastman, the lawyer advising former President Trump on the plan to overturn the 2020 election. The call took place on January 7, one day after the deadly insurrection. “He started to ask me about something dealing with Georgia and preserving something potentially for appeal. And I said to him, 'Are you out of your F—ing mind?' Right? I said, 'I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition. … I don't want to hear any other F—ing words coming out of your mouth no matter what, other than orderly transition. Repeat those words to me,'” said Herschmann. Eastman later emailed Rudy Giuliani and requested that he be included on a list of potential recipients of a presidential pardon. Eastman's email stated, “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list if that is still in the works.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Also during Thursday’s hearing, Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann described in recorded testimony his call with John Eastman, the lawyer advising former President Trump on the plan to overturn the 2020 election. The call took place on January 7th, the day after the deadly insurrection.

ERIC HERSCHMANN: The day after, Eastman — I don’t remember why he called me, and he — or he texted me or called me, wanted to talk with me, and he said he couldn’t reach others. And he started to ask me about something dealing with Georgia and preserving something potentially for appeal.

And I said to him, “Are you out of your F—ing mind?” Right? I said, “I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: 'orderly transition.'” [inaudible] “I don’t want to hear any other F—ing words coming out of your mouth no matter what, other than 'orderly transition.' Repeat those words to me.’” And [inaudible] —

INVESTIGATOR: What did he say?

ERIC HERSCHMANN: Eventually, he said, “Orderly transition.” I said, “Good, John. Now I’m going to give you the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life: Get a great F—ing criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it.” And then I hung up on him.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Congressman Aguilar.

REP. PETE AGUILAR: In fact, just a few days later, Dr. Eastman emailed Rudy Giuliani and requested that he be included on a list of potential recipients of a presidential pardon. Dr. Eastman’s email stated, quote, “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.” Dr. Eastman did not receive his presidential pardon. So, let’s see what Dr. Eastman did as a result when he was deposed by this committee.

JOHN EASTMAN: I assert my Fifth Amendment right against being compelled to be a witness against myself.

INVESTIGATOR: Did the Trump legal team ask you to prepare a memorandum regarding the vice president’s role in the counting of electoral votes at the joint session of Congress on January 6th, 2021?

JOHN EASTMAN: Fifth.

INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Eastman, did you advise the president of the United States that the vice president could reject electors from seven states and declare that the president had been reelected?

JOHN EASTMAN: Fifth.

INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Eastman, the first sentence of the memo starts off by saying seven states have transmitted dual slates of electors to the president of the Senate. Is that statement in this memo true?

JOHN EASTMAN: Fifth.

INVESTIGATOR: Did President Trump authorize you to discuss publicly your January 4th, 2021, conversation with him?

JOHN EASTMAN: Fifth.

INVESTIGATOR: So, is it your position that you can discuss in the media direct conversations you had with the president of the United States, but you will not discuss those same conversations with this committee?

JOHN EASTMAN: Fifth.

REP. PETE AGUILAR: Dr. Eastman pled the fifth a hundred times.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s highlights from the third public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. The fourth hearing is set for Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern. We’ll be live-streaming that at democracynow.org.

Coming up next, a major march on Washington this weekend, the Poor People’s March. We’ll be speaking with the Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis and Bishop William Barber. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: “Blazing Arrow” by Blackalicious. This is Democracy Now! This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of rapper Gift of Gab.

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