Trump Will Try a Coup Again in 2024, Says Former Pence Adviser

Michael Luttig, a conservative former federal judge, said Trump and his supporters still present a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Judge Michael Luttig, a conservative former federal judge, said during a House hearing Thursday that former President Donald Trump and his supporters continue to present a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Luttig, who provided informal counsel to Vice President Mike Pence as he faced pressure from Trump to overturn the 2020 election results, said during a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 that Trump and his allies will attempt to overturn the election if Trump or another Republican loses in 2024. 

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“To this very day, the former president and his allies and supporters pledge that if the former president or his anointed successor as the Republican Party presidential candidate were to lose [in 2024], that they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election, but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020,” Luttig said. 

“I don’t speak those words lightly,” Luttig added. “I would have never spoken those words ever in my life, except that that’s what the former president and his allies are telling us.”

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Luttig referenced an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times in February in which he warned that Trump and his allies are openly planning to exploit flaws in the Electoral Count Act, which Democrats and some Republicans have discussed reforming, in order to effectively steal an election. 

“The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024, in open, plain view of the American public,” Luttig said Thursday. 

Trump has been fighting hard to get lackeys who back his election lies into key positions of power so that they can meddle in the 2024 elections, when he’s likely to be on the ballot once again. 

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That includes numerous endorsements in Congressional races—but most importantly, involvement in secretary of state and gubernatorial races in swing states. He’s largely been successful: Republicans have already nominated election-denying extremists to run their state’s election systems in three of the swing states whose results he tried to reverse in 2020, with others looking strong ahead of their primary elections.

Thursday’s hearing also revealed that former Trump lawyer John Eastman, who pushed Pence to overturn the election results, knew his plan would cause “riots in the streets” and that in an email, Eastman said that he “decided” he should be pardoned by the president. 

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Former Trump White House attorney Eric Herschmann said in a taped deposition played during the hearing that after listening to Eastman’s “crazy” idea for Pence to overturn the results, he asked Eastman, “Are you out of your effin’ mind?” Herschmann also said he had to force Eastman to say the words “orderly transition.” 

Herschmann said he also told Eastman to get a “great effin’ criminal defense lawyer because you’re going to need it.”

The pardon never came, and Eastman repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment during his interview with Jan. 6 committee investigators, according to video played by the committee.

Cameron Joseph contributed to this report.

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Tagged:

mike pence, John Eastman, michael luttig

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