Trade advisor Peter Navarro speaks with reporters outside the White House on July 27, 2020.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
- Peter Navarro says former Pence hung up on him while he was pitching a plan to overturn the 2020 election.
- Navarro says he and Steve Bannon concocted a peaceful way to overturn the election on January 6.
- The former White House trade policy advisor says he didn’t know if Trump was aware of his plan.
Former White House advisor Peter Navarro says former Vice President Mike Pence hung up on him as Navarro was pitching him on a plan to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Congress.
In his new book “On Trump Time,” the former White House trade policy advisor says he and Steve Bannon concocted a plan called “The Green Bay Sweep” to overturn former President Donald Trump’s election loss on the joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021.
Under the “Green Bay Sweep,” Republicans would object to the counting of electoral votes in six states that voted for President Joe Biden, resulting in up to 24 hours of nationally-televised debate.
The ultimate victory, in Navarro’s telling, would be for Pence to “send” slates of electors back to the states (which legal scholars said he did not have the power to do) and for those states to “withdraw” their electoral votes for Biden, making it so that neither candidate had a majority of electoral votes and the election would be decided by the House of Representatives.
But the whole plan relied on Pence’s cooperation — and the former VP wasn’t willing to play ball.
“When I was in the Oval briefing the president on the results, I expressed frustration with the fact that Mike wouldn’t return my calls. And that it would be useful, as we were moving to Jan 6, if that problem could be fixed,” Navarro said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “He said, yeah, he’d have Mike call me. Which Mike, in fact, did. The only problem was he hung up before he even spoke to me.”
Pence and his staff rebuffed multiple outside pitches, including from legal scholar John Eastman and Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, arguing that Pence, in his ceremonial role overseeing the electoral count, had the legal authority to unilaterally reject states’ certified slates of electoral votes.
Navarro blamed Pence’s former chief of staff Marc Short and former chief counsel Gregory Jacob for foiling the plan.
“Short and Jacob were just bad people. Just bad people,” Navarro told Rolling Stone. “Had no business being in the in the White House. They weren’t Trump people. They were just bad people. They hurt the president in a lot of different ways, not the least of which is how they handled this particular issue we’re talking about.”
Short, who later called Eastman’s analysis “boneheaded,” drafted Jacob to conduct legal research and present their own memo to refute Eastman’s argument.
The morning of January 6, Pence published some of Jacob’s analysis in a memo to members of Congress explaining that while he would allow members of Congress to raise objections to electoral votes, he did not have the power to reverse the election outcome.
Navarro is eager to take credit for the “Green Bay Sweep” and cast himself as the architect of a brilliant plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election — one he says would have gone off without a hitch if a violent mob of rioters hadn’t disrupted the plan.
“I’d love to know how that violence erupted. I’m telling you I was one of the most crestfallen people on the planet at the end, when that happened, because I knew immediately: This won’t end way the we wanted it to,” Navarro told Rolling Stone.
But the former trade advisor admitted in the Rolling Stone interview that he didn’t know whether Trump was even aware of the plan.
“I don’t know that for a fact,” Navarro told Rolling Stone when asked if anyone had directly briefed Trump on the scheme.