The infamous 'Eastman memo' shows how close Georgia GOP chair came to enabling Trump coup

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Eleven months after the election, and nine months after the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt, we are only now beginning to understand how organized, intentional and dangerous the Trump coup attempt had been, and how dangerous it remains. Take, for example, the events of Dec. 14 at the Georgia State Capit...
Eleven months after the election, and nine months after the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt, we are only now beginning to understand how organized, intentional and dangerous the Trump coup attempt had been, and how dangerous it remains.

Take, for example, the events of Dec. 14 at the Georgia State Capitol. On that date, Democratic electors met in the state Senate chambers to formally commit the state's 16 electoral votes to Joe Biden. The event was ceremonial in nature, yet required under the U.S. Constitution.

Largely overlooked at the time – there was a lot going on – was a second meeting held that day in a committee room at the Capitol, this one convened by Georgia GOP Chair David Shafer. In that meeting, Shafer and his fellow Republicans approved a fake second slate of pro-Trump electors to be sent to Washington, on the grounds that Trump had really carried Georgia and that Biden's victory was based on fraud.

There was, is, and never will be any evidence whatsoever of that claim, as multiple recounts, investigations and court cases have demonstrated. But as we'll see, the legitimacy of that fake slate of electors didn't really matter. What mattered was the ability to claim that the competing slate existed.

We know that because of last week's publication of a memo from John Eastman, a now discredited constitutional law professor who also served as a top legal advisor to Trump. It's pretty much a how-to booklet on ending American democracy.

In that memo, Eastman lays out a step-by-step scheme by which Vice President Mike Pence could single-handedly overturn the results of the presidential election and ensure that Trump stayed in office, despite having lost the election. Trump embraced the strategy wholeheartedly, as subsequent events have proved.

A 'majority of the electors appointed' would therefore be 228. There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected. – John Eastman, a top legal advisor to…
Jay Bookman, Georgia Recorder
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