Former Trump lawyer John Eastman traveled to Wisconsin just as he was becoming a prominent focus of the House committee probing the Capitol attack. Eastman, a right-wing lawyer who drafted a plan for former President Donald Trump to cling to power by falsely claiming then-Vice President Mike Pence could reject legitimate electors during the 2020 presidential election, was part of a small group of Trump supporters who secured a private meeting last month to try to persuade the Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Assembly to decertify President Joe Biden’s victory, according to multiple sources familiar with the meeting.
According to the sources, Eastman and others spent almost two hours behind closed doors on March 16 urging Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to cancel the 2020 election and retrieve the electors handed to Biden, which is impossible according to legal experts. The congressional committee investigating the November 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Eastman. He had been ignoring the panel’s request for records, citing attorney-client privilege, until a federal court ordered the majority of them to be given over lately.
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According to individuals familiar with the discussion, Eastman encouraged Vos to decertify the election. Trump’s former lawyer pushed Vos to start “reclaiming the electors” and move forward with “either a do-over or having a new slate of electors seated that would declare someone else the winner,” according to Jefferson Davis, a Wisconsin activist pushing to reverse Biden’s victory who was also in the meeting. “By specific request from Speaker Vos, that meeting was secret, thus I am not able to make any remark,” Eastman said in a statement to ABC News when asked for comment.
Following the meeting, Vos reaffirmed his belief that the 2020 election cannot be called off. Vos, on the other hand, has pushed charges of massive electoral fraud, and was found in contempt of court last month for neglecting to turn over papers linked to a Republican-led probe into the 2020 election that he had begun himself in May 2021.
His office did not reply to ABC News’ several attempts for comment. Even 15 months into President Joe Biden’s presidency, Eastman and other Trump friends have continued to press for the 2020 election results to be reversed despite no proof of massive voting fraud.
In February, Eastman also joined leaders of Colorado’s election denial campaign, holding an “emergency town hall meeting” in Castle Rock. The meeting, organized by FEC United founder Joe Oltman, rallied the crowd against Secretary of State Jenna Griswold, falsely accusing her of participating in an election fraud conspiracy.
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During the meeting, Eastman boasted about his involvement in election lawsuits in Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin and decried the “attacks” that he and others who push election conspiracies have experienced, calling it “pure evil,” according to a video of the meeting posted by FEC United.
Eastman has claimed that on Jan. 5, 2021, he attended a meeting of Trump supporters at the Willard Hotel and spoke before Trump at the “Save America” rally the following day. Eastman has also stated publicly that he and other Trump supporters set up a “war room” inside the hotel for several days prior to and on Jan. 6.
Trump has been keeping a close eye on the decertification campaign, declaring after the Wisconsin meeting last month that “Speaker Vos should do the right thing and rectify the Crime of the Century—immediately!” Other states, in my opinion, will follow Wisconsin’s lead, therefore Wisconsin should take the lead!”
According to insiders, the former president has been in communication with various persons working on the initiative in Wisconsin and has gotten frequent updates from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has disseminated wild and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the 2020 election count.
Lindell, who remains a close confidant of the former president, has joined the Wisconsin pressure campaign with his own team, which includes Douglas Frank, who was featured prominently at the My Pillow CEO’s conspiracy-filled “Cyber Symposium” last August, Army Reserve Lt. Colonel Ivan Raiklin, who has also worked closely with former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to overturn the 2020 election, and Shawn Smith, a Colorado-based activist who has called Lindell a “angry man
While Lindell was not present during the March 16 meeting, Eastman was joined by Frank, Raiklin, and Smith, according to persons familiar with the event. Lindell is now being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems for falsely marketing its voting devices. Last Thursday, he came to Mar-a-Lago for a fundraiser for Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, which included the former president.
Eastman has been of more interest to investigators on the Jan. 6 committee as his effort to overturn the election proceeds, according to the panel’s public statements. A federal court decided last month that Eastman must give over the majority of the materials he has withheld from the committee. According to insiders, the panel has begun receiving and evaluating the materials.
Trump “more likely than not” committed felony obstruction in his attempt to reverse the election, according to the judge, who read the records in private. Despite repeated recounts, court filings, and audits finding no systemic fraud in the battleground state of Wisconsin, Eastman and others continue to attempt to decertify President Joe Biden’s 2020 win.
According to a report published last month by The Associated Press, just 24 persons out of 3.3 million people who voted in the 2020 election have been charged with election fraud in the state. Similar investigations and audits in other jurisdictions, such as Georgia and Arizona, have found no evidence of significant election fraud.