‘No basis in Constitution’: Jan. 6 witness rejects Trump lawyer’s argument to void election

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A retired federal judge who once had a top lawyer for donald trumpof the campaign of his clerics, flatly rejected the idea that the vice-president Mike Pence had the power to interfere in the counting of The electoral college.

J Michael Luttig, former judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, rejected the idea supported by his former clerk, John Eastman, that the vice president could reject the results of the states where the campaign Trump had claimed fraud (without proof).

“There was no basis in the Constitution or the laws of the United States for the theory adopted by Mr. Eastman. At all. None,” Mr. Luttig told the House Jan. 6 Committee on Thursday.

Much of the testimony of Mr. Luttig and other witnesses concerned both the effort to convince Mr. Pence to intervene as well as simultaneously the seemingly very real understanding of several of the leading proponents of this theory that it does not had no legal weight and would not stand up to challenges. in the justice system.

Mr Pence’s own chief of staff, Marc Short, revealed that not only had Mr Pence made it clear he had no authority to intervene, but Mr Trupm’s top aide, the chief of firm Mark Meadows, had indicated to Mr Short that he agreed with the theory was not legally valid.

Committee members and witnesses agreed Thursday that the vice president has always played a ceremonial role in counting Electoral College votes and that on a purely theoretical level he should have no power to interfere at all. in the counting.

Much of the testimony also questioned how seriously Mr Eastman actually believed the theories he espoused, with one witness saying Mr Eastman himself had admitted the Supreme Court was unlikely to find his constitutional plan.

“It is breathtaking that these arguments were even crafted, let alone nurtured by the President of the United States at this perilous moment in history,” Luttig wrote in a statement he submitted to the committee. “Had the Vice President of the United States obeyed the President of the United States, America would have immediately been plunged into what would have been the equivalent of a revolution in a crippling constitutional crisis.”

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