Juneteenth, Essay, School, Writing The ReidOut Highlights: June 16

Youre ever getting in your life, get a great fn criminal defense lawyer, youre going to need it. We now know why that white house lawyer told john eastman to get a great effing lawyer and why eastman then tried to jump on the last lifeboat asking for a pardon. It was all explained in great detail at todays blockbuster january 6th hearing, but we begin with a different january 6th january 6 2001, which played out this way after the disputed results in florida. Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the house and a senator? The objection is in writing and i dont care that it is not. It is not signed by a member of the senate. The the chair will advise that the rules do care. Now. We all remember what happened next. George w bushs election was certified by al gore. The vice president at the time and bush was inaugurated. His opponent vice president al gore did not try to stop that from happening. No one suggested that gore had any constitutional authority to do so, since, in fact that was never a thing. Despite a history of multiple disputed american presidential elections, including the one which also hinged on disputed florida, results back in 1876, which led to the creation of the electoral count act during todays hearing, however gregory jacob, who was lead counsel to vice president pence, was asked if He confronted trump lawyer john eastman with that fact, and many other objections to eastmans who trey interpretation of the electoral college act.

Electoral account act, and this is what he said back in 2000, you werent jumping up and saying al gore had this authority to do that. You would not want kamala harris to be able to exercise that kind of authority in 2024, when i hope republicans will win the election, and i know you hope that too john and he said absolutely al gore did not have a basis to do it. In 2000. Kamala harris shouldnt be able to do it in 2024, but i think you should do it today. In fact, eastman was pushing this theory, even as he himself acknowledged that it was unconstitutional and wouldnt hold up in court. Did dr eastman admit in front of the president that his proposal would violate the electoral account act? Mr eastman acknowledged that that was the case um that even what he viewed as the more politically palatable option would violate several provisions. But he thought that we could do so because, in his view, the electoral can act was unconstitutional. Jacob also testified that eastman acknowledged that, if, if his theory that pence could delay certification of president bidens victory made it to the supreme court, trump would lose unanimously. Nine to nothing the star of todays hearing, however former federal judge and perennial republican supreme court shortlister, michael ludig, who advised pence about his options, also made clear, along with mr jacob, that pence had no authority under any interpretation of the constitution. To do what eastman proposed, there was no basis in the constitution or laws of the united states at all, for the theory espoused by mr eastman at all.

None our review of text, history, um and, frankly, just common sense, all confirmed the vice presidents. First instinct, on that point, there is no uh justifiable basis to conclude that the vice president has that kind of authority. In fact, judge ludwig spelled out how adamantly he opposed the suggestion that pence could overturn to overturn the elections. That declaration of donald trump, as the next president would have plunged america into what i believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis. For his part, john eastman remained undeterred and later even spoke at the ellipse on january 6. Only further inflaming the crowd with claims about a plot. He, as we now know, admitted, was illegal in private and all we are demanding of vice president pence is this afternoon at one oclock. He let the legislatures of the state look into this. So we get to the bottom of it, and the american people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not taken together, todays hearing filled in the blanks of why white house lawyer eric hershman advised eastman to get a great effing lawyer. Several of them, as committee member pete aguilar, revealed yet another bombshell. 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 eastmans email stated quote: ive decided that i should be on the pardon list if that is still in the works after Trump declined to give eastman that presidential pardon eastman pleaded the fifth repeatedly when deposed by the committee 100 times to be exact.

Joining me now, olivia troy, director of the republican accountability project and a former aide top aide to vice president mike pence, daniel goldman former assistant u.s attorney for the southern district of new york and general counsel for the house intelligence committee during the first trump impeachment hes. Now running for congress in new york and maya wiley president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights, thank you all for being here. I want to zero in on mr eastman um, because it seems to me im gon na go right down the center of my panel here to mr goldman. It seems to me that not only was what he was proposing unconstitutional. He knew it was unconstitutional. Not only did it violate the law, i mean the electoral count act, he knew it violated that law and he knew that in terms of precedent it violated that too, because he said al gore should not have had the right to do this. He thinks kamala harris should not have the right to do it, but quote. We should go ahead and do this anyway, your thoughts. Well, you hit the nail on the head. I mean the difference between just sort of violating the electoral account act and knowingly conspiring with others to interfere with. The lawful functioning of government is exactly what you and greg jacob said today, which is that he knew that what he was advocating for was illegal. Yet he was doing it anyway and you dont have to take my word for it.

You can take the word of district judge carter out in la who made a finding by preponderance of the evidence that eastman may have committed that exact crime conspiring to defraud the uh to overturn the election and who was his co conspirator. According to judge carter, donald trump, so if john eastman is taking, the fifth is asking for a pardon, because he clearly at that point recognized that he was in criminal, hot water uh. The only other people who were really integrally involved in pushing eastmans theory were rudy giuliani, mark meadows and donald trump. It does seem at this point like what weve seen over the last couple weeks is most of the rest of white house. Officials were behind the scenes pushing against this whole scheme, but that eastman kept pushing forward. I mean even to the point where he fully acknowledged that what he was doing was illegal, but he just wanted vice president pence to do it anyway, and you know, let me just read for a second maya from the 12th amendment to the constitution, because i thought That, aside from everything else that were learning its a fantastic civics lesson that americans are getting by watching these hearings, because people dont necessarily know the minutia of whats in the constitution. But one thing is pretty clear: if you do remember january 6: 2001. The the position of the vice president in that moment is ceremonial, its purely ceremonial, its like the oscars.

You know the person reading the oscars envelope doesnt determine who wins the oscar theyre literally just reading it, and so is the vice president and mr pence went and asked people who would know he asked people like michael ludwig. He went and asked the former vice president dan quayle. He wouldnt ask him just to be sure and his counsel asked and they were told. No, you need to stick with this. The president of the senate shall, in the presence of the senate and the house of representatives open all the certificates and the votes, then shall be counted period thats the job and yet his persistence. Maya is whats, mind boggling here right up until the day of the insurrection, he himself gets on at the at the podium and starts still spouting this demand to mike pence. What do you make of all this? Look i make of all this. What was already largely in the public eye, but that these hearings are making crystal clear with additional new and powerful evidence, which is everybody, including those close to donald trump appointed by donald trump. That donald trump chose to take before senate confirmation that he relied upon to defend him and impeachment and brought into the white house counsels office. These are his close supporters, all saying the same thing behind closed doors, which is no. This is insanity. This is crazy. A judge ludwig i mean the thing about this is this is a person with whom i know i personally would share very few things that we would agree upon.

I can say that the saving an american democracy requires us all to recognize what the boundaries are. That 12th amendment is a clear, crystal clear boundary and what we have seen, what it, what i make of it is those who seek power, like a john eastman, like a rudy giuliani and like a donald trump, are really saying. We will ignore the constitution of the united states that serves us and the reason this committee hearing, i hope, is getting the time and attention it deserves is because the true message here is no matter your political beliefs or your party. This is an existential crisis. If we believe lies because they are told repeatedly, including lies about what our constitution tells us on january 5th 2021 rafael warnock became the first black georgian elected to the united states senate alongside john ossoff, who became the states first, jewish senator, reflecting a political transformation fueled By the might of black voters and other voters of color the very next day, a mega insurrectionist mob stormed the halls of congress driven by lies about election fraud in a new essay senator warnock reflected on these two crucial days in american history, warnock wrote of his Late father quote: on january 5th 2021, his youngest son was elected, georgias first, black united states senator and only the 11th in the nations history. What would he think about the attack on the capitol the very next day, both say something profound about the america.

He knew and the one he always knew we could become joining me now is senator rafael, warnock author of the new book, a way out of no way a memoir of truth transformation and the new american story, which im very excited to read: um, senator and reverend. Dr warnock, thank you very much for being here. I really appreciate you so tell me what do these two parallel events? What do they say about our country? Thank you. So much joy, its great to be here with you. Listen every family has a complicated story. All of our families – and there are parts of our family story that we may not be eager to confront, but thats the only way healing comes and, as you point out, i was elected on january 5th, alongside john ossoff, the states first, black senator and first jewish Senator elected in one fell swoop. I like to think that somewhere, martin luther king jr and rabbi abraham, joshua heschel are smiling because they marched alongside one another and we we came to the senate on the wave of a multi racial coalition. I think the future of the country uh, then, on january 6, we saw this violent attack on the capitol driven by the big lie and the not so subtle premise that certain voices and votes dont count. You dont get to determine the future of the country, and so were at this inflection point and weve got to decide.

Are we the america of january 5th or the america of january 6.? I choose january 5th, i choose what dr king called beloved community and when i think about uh my dad, who i mentioned a talk about in that essay born in 1917, a world war ii veteran who was once asked to give up his seat to a white Teenager while riding the bus in his uniform but saw the the arc of history in our country, i remain hopeful and we must all remain vigilant. Well, i mean the reality is: is that january 5th in some ways caused january 6? Right i mean that reality that a state like georgia in the south uh a state that historically has been you know a repository of racism, etc and an oppression produces this black of this jewish senator because of the change in the vote like thats what they were Mad about right its that new electorate that is capable of electing you and john ossoff that people were so angry about. So i mean what do you? What do you expect and hope to hear when two republican members, you know who are still elected officials in your state, brad raffensberger, who we know donald trump, pressured to try to give him the election and his deputy, gabriel sterling theyre going to testify to this same January 6, committee: what do you? What do you do? Do you think anything about what happened, changed them and their perspective about politics? Well, i think uh georgia in a real sense, uh saved the country, gave the country a chance to fight and push towards his ideals and as a kid who was born and raised in that state, im very proud of what the people of georgia did.

We again have to remain vigilant, as i talk about my story in in this memoir – a way out of no way which, by the way, is a phrase that comes out of the black church. It is a phrase, as you know, god makes the way out of no way its born of struggle and its its born of challenge and oppression and yet keeping the faith. Even in the midst of challenge, we have to keep the faith and we have to keep up the fight, and so i i remain hopeful and um im not about to give up on our democracy and its the most precious thing we can defend at a moment. Like this um you and you, you speak about your faith, you you do pass to the church, the church of the great reverend dr martin luther king jr, a picture um that shows that ebenezer baptist church. You still you still preach at that church. Uh youre still an active pastor. Do you recall what the first sermon is that you preached after the january 6 insurrection and what you said to your to uh that beautiful church yeah? I i forgive me. I preach every sunday but uh i you know it all kind of runs runs together after a while, but i i i think i i talked about this – this tension, this creative tension that we live in and both speak to an important part of who we are.

We cant pretend like january 6, isnt a part of us it is, but the good news is so is january 5th and when i think about my own improbable journey, when i think not only about my dad but my mom, who grew up in waycross georgia, picking Somebody elses cotton and tobacco those 82 year old hands that used to pick somebody elses cotton and tobacco picked her youngest son to be a united states senator and yes, there. There are challenges. There are moments when the democracy expands. There are moments when it contracts, but even contractions uh can give birth to new possibilities in a new world and we have to fight for it. I would be remiss if i didnt ask you, even though i hate to to have you, have to even address it, but you are facing what do you make of the fact that the voters on the other side of the aisle chose someone like herschel walker? I was a football legend i used to, you know, reveal him as a football player, but given all of his challenges, his sort of pound cake speech version of what black men should be doing in terms of the home and the reality of his own situation, vis, A vis, babies, uh and mamas um. What do you make of that hypocrisy and the fact that he is who uh republicans think is fit to serve in the united states senate and to remove you from the senate? Think that, in the midst of, i think that, in the midst of this campaign, the people of georgia have a real choice before them about who they think is ready to represent them in the united states senate.

Im, proud of my lifelong commitment to service and how ive translated that into the senate and the work that were doing uh to fight for ordinary hard working families. That was very diplomatic because youre a pastor so that you, oh man of god, that was very diplomatic. Uh senator raphael warnock. Thank you very much.

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