Mr. Eastman, the conservative lawyer who advised Mr. Trump that Vice President Mike Pence could throw out electoral votes from states he had lost, conceded during a conversation with Mr. Pence’s top lawyer, Greg Jacob, that his arguments carried no legal weight and would fail before the Supreme Court.
A rejection of electors by the vice president would be a “relatively minor violation” of federal law, Mr. Eastman acknowledged, agreeing with Mr. Jacob’s assessment that even the most conservative justices would reject it.
“If this case got to the Supreme Court, we’d lose 9-0, wouldn’t we?” Mr. Jacob recalled telling Mr. Eastman, according to his interview with the committee. “And he started out at 7 to 2. And I said, ‘Who are the two?’ And he said, ‘Well, I think maybe Clarence Thomas.’ And I said: ‘Really? Clarence Thomas?’ And so we went through a few Thomas opinions and, finally, he acknowledged, ‘Yeah, all right, it would be 9-0.’”
The committee recently received documents from the National Archives that showed some of Mr. Trump’s activities on Jan. 6. Among them were a morning meeting that included his eldest son’s fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle — who has turned over 110 pages of documents to the committee and was issued a subpoena on Thursday — a call with former Senator Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, and a call with Mr. Pence as he tried to persuade the vice president to go along with his plans.
As the mob attacked the Capitol, Mr. Eastman and Mr. Jacob exchanged a series of emails.
“Thanks to your bullshit, we are now under siege,” Mr. Jacob wrote at 12:14 p.m., shortly after pro-Trump rioters began attacking the complex, chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
“It was gravely, gravely irresponsible for you to entice the president with an academic theory that had no legal viability,” Mr. Jacob wrote in a subsequent email.
More than 150 police officers would be injured during the mob violence that would cost several people their lives.