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Jan. 6 Committee To Subpoena Former Chapman Law Professor John Eastman

LOS ANGELES (CNN/CBSLA) – The House select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection plans to subpoena former Chapman University law professor John Eastman, who worked with former President Donald Trump's legal team and tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence that he could overturn the election results on Jan. 6, a committee aide told CNN on Tuesday.

Chapman University Faces Pressure To Fire Professor Who Spoke At Rally Before Capitol Breach
Chapman University professor John Eastman (left) stands alongside Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, at rally near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. (Getty Images)

The aide noted that a subpoena would be avoidable if Eastman voluntarily chose to cooperate with the committee's inquiry.

The Washington Post first reported news of the expected subpoena.

Eastman appeared on stage with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at a "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6, where they urged his supporters to head to the Capitol.

In response, just days after the insurrection, over 150 Chapman faculty members signed onto a letter calling on the university to fire Eastman. University President Daniele Struppa refused to do so. However, about a week after the attack, Eastman retired.

Eastman had outlined in a two-page memo a scheme to try to persuade Pence to subvert the Constitution and throw out the 2020 election results on January 6, when Congress counted the Electoral College votes. The memo was obtained by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, the authors of "Peril," and was subsequently obtained by CNN.

Under Eastman's scheme, Pence would have declared Trump the winner with more Electoral College votes after the results from seven states were thrown out, at 232 votes to 222.

Anticipating "howls" from Democrats protesting the overturning of the election, the memo proposes, Pence would instead say that no candidate had reached 270 votes in the Electoral College. That would throw the election to the House of Representatives, where each state would get one vote. Since Republicans controlled 26 state delegations, a majority could vote for Trump to win the election.

The plan was first proposed to Pence when Eastman was with Trump in the Oval Office on January 4, during one of Trump's attempts to convince Pence that he had the authority to stop the certification of the election for Joe Biden.

Eastman would be just the latest Trump ally to receive a subpoena from the House select committee, which has aggressively sought cooperation from those around the former President at the time of the Capitol riot.

CNN reported earlier Tuesday that at least five former Trump administration staffers have voluntarily spoken with the House select committee.

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