John Eastman, the lawyer who helped orchestrate Donald Trump‘s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, cited the Declaration of Independence in a recent interview to defend the effort in the wake of the former president’s criminal indictment.
Eastman, a prominent figure in conservative legal circles, gained national prominence during the months between the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, Capital riot, during which time he helped Trump craft the dubious legal theory behind his efforts to stay in power after losing to Joe Biden. Most notably, he is credited for proposing the debunked theory that Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to throw out the election results during the certification process.
Eastman is now widely believed to be one of the six unnamed co-conspirators in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and special counsel Jack Smith‘s federal criminal indictment against Trump for his attempts to overturn the election. Trump was arraigned in a Washington, D.C., court on Thursday, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy against rights, and obstruction of an official proceeding.
While it remains to be seen if charges will be brought against Eastman and the other alleged co-conspirators, he has continued to speak out in defense of Trump’s efforts to fight the results of the 2020 election. In a Thursday interview with Tom Klingenstein, chairman of the Claremont Institute’s Board of Directors, Eastman cited a portion of the Declaration of Independence that mentions a need to “alter or abolish the existing government” in the face of certain circumstances, Talking Points Memo (TPM) reported on Friday.
“There’s actually a provision in the Declaration of Independence that a people will suffer abuses while they remain sufferable, tolerable while they remain tolerable,” Eastman said. “At some point, abuses become so intolerable that it becomes not only their right but their duty to alter or abolish the existing government.”
He continued: “So that’s the question: have the abuses or the threat of abuses become so intolerable that we have to be willing to push back?”
Newsweek reached out to representatives for Eastman via email for comment.
The degree to which Trump might have had reason to push back against the 2020 election results is widely disputed. Despite his own repeated insistence, no evidence has ever been produced to support the idea that there was widespread voter fraud in 2020 sufficient to swing the results of the election in favor of Biden.
The post John Eastman Claims Declaration of Independence Backs Trump’s Election Plot appeared first on Newsweek.