As Greg Jacob watched angry supporters of former President Donald Trump coalesce around the Capitol on Jan. 6, he fired off an email to a man whom he had only recently met whose actions he felt contributed to the unfolding chaos.

In meetings on each of the previous two days, John Eastman, a conservative constitutional law professor representing Trump, met with Jacob, who was then chief counsel to Vice President Mike Pence. Eastman tried to convince Jacob that Pence, who was set to preside over the formal certification of the election results on Jan. 6, had the legal authority to reject electors and potentially declare Trump the winner.