June 17, 2022

During yesterday’s gripping January 6 hearing, former federal appellate judge and conservative legal icon J. Michael Luttig shot down Trump lawyer John Eastman's legal excuse for pressuring then-Vice President Pence to overturn the 2020 election. Luttig testified, “I would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the vice president overturn the 2020 election."

But Fox News and radio host Mark Levin, who is also a lawyer, thinks he knows better. As Media Matters noted, Levin was Fox News’ only prime time guest to talk about yesterday’s hearing. Neither he nor host Sean Hannity told viewers that Levin apparently helped cook up Eastman’s dangerous scheme and that Eastman tried to shield about a dozen emails between him and Levin from the January 6th committee.

On the Hannity show, Levin suggested that opposition to Eastman was merely left-wing political gamesmanship:

LEVIN: [P]rofessors on the left … actually agreed with John Eastman's position before it was John Eastman’s position and Trump’s position. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to state legislatures, of course you can lobby state legislatures to change the electoral outcome!

In reality, Thursday’s hearing went into great detail, from Republicans, about why Eastman’s theory was bogus and that even Eastman knew it. More from Media Matters:

Former Pence legal counsel Greg Jacob described at Thursday’s hearing Eastman’s scheme for Pence, during the January 6, 2021, joint session of Congress to count Electoral College votes, to either reject the votes from some states outright or send them back to their state legislatures for review. According to Jacob, during one meeting in which Eastman sought to pressure Pence to participate, the Trump lawyer acknowledged that the plot was illegal. The committee also aired video testimonies of other Trump aides saying that they had told Trump the plan was illegal, and produced an email from after the riot in which Eastman sought a presidential pardon.

But it’s not a surprise that Fox would try to legitimize the Eastman scheme as well as to talk about it as little as possible. Fox News is as guilty of promoting the Big Lie as Donald Trump – and it could cost the Murdoch network billions.

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