Mike Pence Called Trump Strategy to Overturn Election 'Rubber Room Stuff'

When Mike Pence saw an email in which former attorney for then-President Donald Trump John Eastman allegedly asked that he delay the certification of the 2020 election results even after the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, the former vice president responded: "That's rubber room stuff," according to an ex-White House lawyer.

Greg Jacob, who was Pence's chief counsel, testified Thursday before the House committee investigating the January 6 riot, when a mob of Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory. After sharing Pence's "rubber room stuff" comment, Jacob was asked to clarify what he believed the former vice president meant.

"I understood it to mean that after having seen it play out, what happens when you convince people that there is a decision to be made in the Capitol legitimately about who is to be the President and the consequences of that, he was still pushing us to do what he had been asking us to do for the previous two days, that that was certifiably crazy," Jacob responded.

Jacob's testimony came during the third installment in a series of public hearings that the House committee is holding in order to present evidence that it says shows a coordinated effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and stop the transfer of power to Biden. The panel focused on an alleged "pressure campaign" by Trump and his close allies to convince Pence to overturn the election results.

"Donald Trump wanted Mike Pence to do something no other vice president has ever done. The former president wanted Pence to reject the votes and either declare Trump the winner or send the votes back to the states to be counted again," Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said in his opening statement.

Pence Comments on Eastman Strategy
Mike Pence allegedly called former President Donald Trump's attempts to delay the certification of the 2020 election results "rubber room stuff," according to an ex-White House lawyer. Above, Pence speaks at a campaign event at the Cobb County International Airport on May 23, 2022, in Kennesaw, Georgia. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"Mike Pence said no. He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong. We're fortunate for Mr. Pence's courage on Jan. 6. Our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe. That courage put him in tremendous danger," Thompson added.

Eastman, along with Trump and Pence, was one of the central figures highlighted in Thursday's hearing. Jacob said that he received Eastman's email asking for Pence to delay the election certification late at night on January 6, 2021, but didn't show the message to the former vice president until a day or two later.

The email suggested that because the House and Congress had technically violated the Electoral Count Act on January 6 by debating an objection for more than two hours, Pence could also violate it by adjourning for 10 days "to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations," CNN reported.

It was after reviewing this email that Pence called it "rubber room stuff," Jacob said.

Newsweek reached out to Eastman via the Claremont Institute, where he is listed as a senior fellow, as well as Pence and Trump for comment.