John Eastman worried he wasn’t going to get paid for his work instigating a seditious coup

John Eastman worried he wasn’t going to get paid for his work instigating a seditious coup

August 4, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

FILE - Chapman University law professor John Eastman stands at left as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani speaks in Washington at a rally in support of President Donald Trump, called the "Save America Rally" on Jan. 6, 2021. The State Bar of California says it is investigating Eastman, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, for possibly breaking legal and ethical rules relating to the 2020 election. John Eastman is the former dean of the Chapman University law school in Southern California. He argued after the November 2020 election that former Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election and keep Trump in power. Pence refused to do that and Trump left office. But since then, Eastman has been subpoenaed by a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Eastman billed the Trump campaign $10,000 per day for meetings in which he attempted to convince Mike Pence and others to overthrow the elected government. And, presumably, for this Jan. 6 appearance in front of an armed and militia-heavy crowd assembled to help intimidate Pence into doing so.

The New York Times has another mini-scoop from Trumpland, but the headline news is probably less interesting (and much less funny) than the details. The headline is that coup architect John Eastman, the lawyer who attached himself to an idea that Vice President Mike Pence could simply throw out electors on his personal say-so, was still at it even on Biden’s inauguration day two weeks later.

That’s when Eastman sent an email to Trump’s personal conspiracy promoter Rudy Giuliani proposing that the Trump team responsible for that violent coup turn their focus to challenging the Georgia runoff elections that had resulted in two new Democratic senators on Jan. 5.

Was it because Eastman had some evidence of supposed “fraud,” you might ask? Not even close. Eastman wrote that “a lot of us have now staked our reputations on the claims of election fraud,” and after the Trump team got their asses handed to them in every courtroom in the land when they presented their hoaxes about supposed fraud in the presidential election, challenging the Georgia results would give them a new opportunity to hunt for “fraud” in the Senate races.

“If we get proof of fraud on Jan. 5,” wrote coup plotter Eastman, “it will likely also demonstrate the fraud on Nov. 3, thereby vindicating [Golfboy’s] claims and serving as a strong bulwark against Senate impeachment trial.”

Yet another fishing expedition, then. There was no non-ridiculous evidence that there was anything wrong with the Jan. 5 elections in Georgia, but Eastman and team had just inspired a violent coup, Eastman himself thought he might need to be pardoned for doing it, and since they had come up completely dry on every “fraud” claim in the November elections, this was a last-ditch attempt to hunt for fraud in a different election, which by the mathematical properties of transience would prove they were right all along or, you know, whatever.

But it’s that “bulwark against Senate impeachment trial” bit that leads us to the more important motive for Eastman’s email to Rudy Giuliani. The guy was still trying to get paid.

You know, for the coup.

The Times reports that the Eastman email also “asked for Mr. Giuliani’s help in collecting on a $270,000 invoice he had sent the Trump campaign the previous day,” and that among the invoiced charges was a $10,000-per-day fee for Eastman’s work for Trump during eight days in January. Yes, John Eastman billed for each of the days he attempted to goad the vice president and his staff into supporting a seditious act to nullify the U.S. election. It was supposed to cost the Trump campaign $10,000 per day, and even after people died at the U.S. Capitol because an armed and violent crowd actually believed the erase-the-election bullshit Eastman was selling, Eastman was still trying to collect his fee for proposing it.

But Eastman wasn’t done yet. He was also trying to get the Trump campaign to pay him similarly steep fees for a barely-related Georgia fishing expedition, and the way Eastman was attempting to sell the new project is to claim that it would be a “bulwark” against Trump’s upcoming (second) impeachment trial. Not only was he billing for instigating violence at the Capitol, but he was also still pushing his services as a guy who could help Trump evade responsibility for the violence—and with the exact same invisible “fraud” that caused all of it the first time around!

That is extremely f–king galling, or would be if anyone still thought anyone within a mile of Donald Trump still had a human soul. This guy wanted to get paid for a seditious conspiracy. Here’s a guy whose legal advice was so spectacularly terrible that it lead to multiple people’s deaths, and he’s getting anxious that maybe he’s not going to be getting his invoices paid.

He wasn’t attempting to overthrow the United States government and install Donald Trump as at least a temporary god-king out of patriotism, you say? He expected to be paid for instigating a violent coup? Oh, and also a pardon, pretty please?

Dude.

The Times indicates that their own sources say Eastman never did get paid, and that John Eastman was looking to Rudy Giuliani, of all people, to pry money out of Trump shows a naivete that seems out of place for the architect of a failed fascist coup. Giuliani, who was charging Trump $20,000 for his own hair-dye melting performances, wasn’t any likelier to get paid than Eastman was.

As for the implications of Eastman sending a bill for his attempts to coerce the vice president and his staff into staging a coup, there are probably lots, and I couldn’t tell you what they are because, gotta be honest with you here, at the moment I don’t even care. Eastman has long claimed he was working as Trump’s lawyer, and that’s why he doesn’t have to testify about anything, But apparently he thought he was working as the Trump campaign’s lawyer, not Trump’s, and if Eastman ever succeeded in squeezing a dime or two out of the campaign then that would be another direct link between Trump’s political team and the plotted coup attempt. The Department of Justice already has Eastman’s phone communications, however, so we know whatever thin veneer of “I was just the lawyer” Eastman might be insisting on, it’s not working.

For the moment, though, let’s just revel in the sheer gall of this blazingly arrogant, irredeemably evil national seditionist being antsy about whether the violent coup’s failure means he might not get paid. Just an A+ effort at villainy, Claremont Institute guy. Couldn’t do it any better without a costume.

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