October 4, 2021

Mika Brzezinski asked New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt about the infamous Eastman "coup" memo (which the Times finally got around to noticing).

"Is that treason?" she asked.

"I don't know what you call this but it's not good. Eastman came to the attention of the former president while appearing on Fox News," Schmidt said.

"Within two months, he was sitting in the Oval Office. Reading from Michael's report, soon Mr. Eastman was meeting face-to-face, with William Barr and telling him how Mr. Trump can unilaterally impose limitations on birthright citizenship. Mr. EastmAn wrote a memo."

"I don't know what else to call it, Michael, he wrote a legal memo trying to explain to the president of the United States how he can remain in office and ignore 84 million votes against him," Joe Scarborough said.

"Yeah, the thing that struck us about Eastman was the feedback that how was he the last person in the room with the president at such a crucial juncture in the president's administration and American history. And as you guys were laying out, it starts on Fox News. It starts with the president seeing him on Fox News. And that's how he comes into that orbit. It's in that final week when folks like Bill Barr had turn their back on the president and the White House counsel was not going along with what Trump wanted. He looks for others coming up with rationales that he was looking for and Eastman provided them."

"I want to ask you how close you think we came with Eastman, in particular to the president having assistance blowing right through the guardrails. Was this a significant effort that may have succeeded or was he a a bid player, like Mike Lindell?" David Ignatius asked.

Schmidt spelled out the timeline.

"Putting aside the legal case of what it means for what Eastman did. There is a line there about delay that starts from Eastman and Trump saying it to Pence and pushing and pressuring for that. Eastman stands apart from the Sidney Powells and Rudy Giulianis in that this was someone who conservative lawyers saw as someone they respected and looked towards. That was someone that could come up with in trying to find things in the constitution of history where he thought he could rationalize it with the president. He was more able than other lawyers to help Trump get to the places Trump wanted to get to."

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.