I found this article from Talking Points Memo (TPM) very informative.
John Eastman Comes Clean: Hell Yes We Were Trying to Overthrow the Government
John Eastman was one of the lawyers who advised Trump on how they could attempt to change the 2020 election results. Eastman was once a law clerk for Clarence Thomas. He has represented states in Supreme Court cases arguing against equal marriage for gays, against abortion rights, and against immigration. It’s ironic (as you’ll see below), but he was arguing against these things on constitutional grounds. He’s connected with The Federalist Society and The National Organization for Marriage. In short, he’s a right-wing jerk. If you’re curious, you can google him to find out more.
Now he’s saying that, yes, Trump and his cronies were conspiring to change the election results. From the TPM article:
But the central bit comes just over half way through the interview when Eastman gets into the core justification and purpose for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election and overthrow the constitutional order itself. He invokes the Declaration of Independence and says quite clearly that yes, we were trying to overthrow the government and argues that they were justified because of the sheer existential threat America was under because of the election of Joe Biden.
Here are Eastman’s words:
“Our Founders lay this case out,” says Eastman. “There’s actually a provision in the Declaration of Independence that a people will suffer abuses while they remain sufferable, tolerable while they remain tolerable. At some point abuses become so intolerable that it becomes not only their right but their duty to alter or abolish the existing government.”
So now he’s citing the Declaration of Independence. Not the Constitution.
On January 6, Joe Biden had been elected President, but he had not yet been sworn in. He couldn’t possibly have done anything intolerable. The only intolerable thing to Trump and Eastman was that Biden won the election.
Let’s look back at history. The thirteen American colonies rebelled against Great Britain. But then they won the Revolutionary War (with the help of France) and gained their independence. If the colonists had lost the war, George Washington and other leaders would have been hanged as insurrectionists and traitors. Then, in 1860, the southern slave states rebelled and tried to secede. I’m sure the Confederate leaders pointed to the Declaration of Independence as justification. But in 1865, the south lost the Civil War. Then the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was passed with a clause that you can’t be a Senator, Representative, or hold any other office if you have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.
I don’t know if this counts as a smoking gun. In my opinion, it’s clear that Trump and his advisors conspired to overthrow the government. They fomented an insurrection. If Trump is found guilty, he shouldn’t be allowed to run for President.