Former WH Adviser John Eastman Requested Presidential Pardon Day After Jan 6 Capitol Attack

Former White House lawyer John Eastman asked for a presidential pardon after pleading the Fifth Amendment 100 times, former lawyer Eric Herschmann recounted to the Special Committee investigating the January 6 attack on June 16.

Herschmann recalled that on January 7, he received a call from Eastman, who asked about “something dealing with Georgia, preserving something, potentially for appeal.” Eastman had recommended to vice president Mike Pence that he should delay the vote count to officially certify the 2020 election on January 6, former legal counsel Greg Jacob testified.

“I said to him, ‘Are you out of your f’ing mind?’” Herschmann recalled telling Eastman. “I said, ‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition.’”

Herschmann said he then told Eastman to get a “‘great f’ing criminal defense lawyer. You’re gonna need it.’ And then I hung up on him.”

A few days later, according to the committee, Eastman emailed Rudy Giuliani and requested that he be pardoned.

“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” Eastman’s email read.

California Rep Pete Aguilar said that when he was deposed by the committee, Eastman 100 times pleaded the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer on the grounds that he might incriminate himself. Credit: CSPAN via Storyful

Video transcript

PETE AGUILAR: White House Attorney Eric Herschmann testified that the next day, January 7, he received a call from Dr. Eastman. Here is Mr. Herschmann's account of that call.

ERIC HERSCHMANN: The day after Eastman-- I don't remember why he called me-- 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, preserving something, potentially, for appeal.

And I said to him, are you out of your effing in mind? Right. Said I-- said I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth for now on-- orderly transition. And then he screamed and said, I don't want to hear any other effing words coming out of your mouth, no matter what, other than orderly transition. Repeat those words to me. [INAUDIBLE]

- 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 effing criminal defense lawyer. You're going to need it. And then I hung up on him.

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.

- 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 6, 2021?

JOHN EASTMAN: Yes.

- 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: Yes.

- 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: Yes.

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

JOHN EASTMAN: Yes.

- 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: Yes.

PETE AGUILAR: Dr. Eastman pled the Fifth 100 times. Finally, let's hear from a federal court judge, the only one to date who has opined on--

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