John Eastman at Trump rally
John Eastman speaks next to Rudy Giuliani, as Trump supporters gather before the insurrection on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Former Chapman University professor John Eastman was a “serpent in the ear” of President Trump urging him to dispute the results of the 2020 election, according to documents released this week.

Greg Jacob, chief counsel for Vice President Mike Pence, used that language in an email to Eastman on Jan. 6 that was revealed in court documents filed late Wednesday by the House committee studying the insurrection.

“It was gravely, gravely irresponsible of you to entice the President with an academic theory that had no legal viability, and that you well know we would lose before any judge,” Jacob wrote.

Eastman’s emails with Jacob argued that the Electoral Count Act, the 1887 law that guides Congress’ counting of the votes, was unconstitutional, and Pence should simply disregard it and overturn the election or send it back to the state legislatures.

Throughout the day on Jan. 6, even as Jacob was forced to shelter from the pro-Trump mob, Eastman continued to argue that Pence could overturn the election.

“Thanks to your bull—-, we are now under siege,” Jacob wrote, adding in another email that Eastman “functioned as a serpent in the ear of the President of the United States.”

The controversial law professor was forced out of Chapman later in January after multiple faculty members objected to his work for Trump, and the university’s president said Eastman’s role had “jeopardized our democracy.”

Eastman also brought controversy to the university for his role in filing a legal brief before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the election results, and in arguing in an op-ed that Kamala Harris was not eligible to be Vice President because her parents were immigrants.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.