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June 17, 2022 09:21 AM UTC

Heidi Ganahl Straight-Up Lies About John Eastman

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Mike Littwin of The Colorado Sun has more:

The heat must have gotten just hot enough — damn that global warming — that Ganahl finally told the Colorado Sun and News4 she wished Eastman “had not involved CU in the whole conversation on what happened with Jan. 6 and the president. But I also believe in academic freedom (note to Ward Churchill) and we’ve got to let these things play out.”

She also said Eastman had a “stellar” career before CU hired him, a notion that, let’s say, is not unanimously held.

The heat even reached the point that Ganahl finally felt she had to give an answer on the 2020 election question. She said that though there were issues regarding the election (editor’s note: there weren’t), she didn’t “believe there was enough fraud that would have flipped the election.”

…including one very good question:

How seriously should we take this? I mean, shouldn’t we at least know how CU hired Eastman?


Former CU visiting professor John Eastman, CU Regent/GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl.

The U.S. House Select Committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021 and the larger plot by ex-President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election turned its focus this week to John Eastman, the University of Colorado’s former “visiting conservative scholar” who while employed by CU became the principal architect of the plan Vice President Mike Pence ultimately refused to carry out. Eastman’s central role in the development of the January 6th coup plot, which it now appears may well have factored in violence at the U.S. Capitol in the achievement of its aims, has elevated him to infamy near that of the ex-President himself.

For many months now, we’ve been writing about Eastman’s connections to Colorado politics, which are extensive: in addition to his stint at CU’s Benson Center, Eastman was the lead attorney in a failed lawsuit by a faction of local Republicans seeking to exclude unaffiliated voters from the Republican Party’s June 28th primary. Had that lawsuit succeeded, the landscape of the upcoming primary would be very different with hard-right base favorites likely cruising to victory.

Colorado’s sole remaining statewide Republican elected official, as readers know, is CU Regent At-Large Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, who is running in an unexpectedly competitive primary for the party’s nomination for governor. Ganahl’s campaign kickoff stumbled out of the gate when she refused to answer what she called “divisive” questions about the 2020 presidential election. Ganahl’s reluctance to engage with the local media has become its own snowballing problem for Ganahl, leading to a raft of negative press in the last few weeks as the primary approaches. That’s what prompted Ganahl to come out of hiding and sit down this week with Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner.

When the interview turned to Eastman, Heidi Ganahl did something we didn’t completely expect, though perhaps we should have. She just…lied.

Warner: Before the riot, you spoke of Eastman in a complimentary way on a conservative radio talk show. And just a few weeks ago on another radio program, you said you advocated against his firing, which is ultimately not how he left CU, by the way. Was it appropriate to have someone on the CU faculty who is leading Trump’s efforts to overturn a legitimate election?

Ganahl: Well, I’m glad you brought this up so I can clear up a few things. First of all, I’ve never met Mr. Eastman. I’ve never talked to him. I was not involved in his hiring; We are not involved in their hiring, as regents. But I did support the Benson Center and I was saying that there were a lot of fantastic scholars that went through the Benson Center. He was collectively grouped into that. [Pols emphasis]

Warner: Under the auspices of it.

Ganahl: Yes, yes. And this was in the fall before anything had happened. I do think it’s unfortunate and it wasn’t good for CU that he decided to represent or get involved in this stuff while he was representing the University of Colorado. That bothered me. But I also believe in academic freedom and I don’t believe we can start firing people. [Pols emphasis] It’s just a very thin line, right? You have to be very careful about that.

Sometimes the lie is so obvious that it’s necessary to double-check just to make sure you didn’t miss something basic. But we can assure you that Ganahl’s claim that she only “collectively grouped” Eastman into her description of “fantastic scholars” at the Benson Center is completely false. We’ve reported countless times what Ganahl actually said:

“There are fantastic folks who come in [to the Benson Center],” said Ganahl in December. “Right now, it’s Dr. John Eastman, who’s riling some folks up.” [Pols emphasis] Ganahl said the center teaches students about “the beauty of western civilization and the history,” and the faculty have “different point of view than most of the faculty at CU.”

Although by December of 2020 Eastman was already by his own account advising Trump on overturning the election, the “riling folks up” Ganahl referred to while praising Eastman by name at that time was Eastman’s discredited and widely-condemned op-ed suggesting that Kamala Harris’ U.S. citizenship wasn’t adequate to serve as Vice President. That’s something we’d love to see Ganahl try to defend today. Unfortunately, because Ganahl’s lie was not rebutted with her plain words in this interview, no such follow-up occurred.

As for opposing what Eastman did and how it reflected on the University, the only thing that matters is that even after the violence on January 6th, Heidi Ganahl opposed Eastman’s firing on “academic freedom” grounds. That seems to be only part of this Ganahl didn’t try to walk back, and it negates whatever concern about Eastman’s actions in the attempted coup she claims to have felt.

In short, these answers are not just untruthful, they’re unhelpful politically for Ganahl in any way. Ganahl did nothing to ingratiate herself with the majority of Republican primary voters who think the 2020 election was stolen and as a result love John Eastman, and she wrecked her credibility by lying to a reporter about something that takes five literal seconds of Googling to disprove.

Maybe there’s no good way to handle this, but Ganahl managed to find the worst way.


3 thoughts on “Heidi Ganahl Straight-Up Lies About John Eastman

  1. Once again, Colorado Pols is flipping out over a statement that is not really a lie. It's what she said originally. Although Ganahl mentioned Eastman's name, she did so only in the context of the Benson Center's whole series of visiting conservative scholars. That's what she said in this interview.

    Viewpoint diversity is not a value of this blog. Ganahl was careful about what she said, and Regents don't pick the Benson Center's scholars. It's no secret why Democrats want to tar and feather every Republican with Eastman but there's not enough to do that to Heidi Ganahl.

    1. Right.  Because Ganahl shouldn't be tarred with Eastman just because she supported his hiring, touted him and opposed his firing AFTER January 6.

      You don't like having Eastman tied around Ganahl's neck?  Tough shit.  She stood with him, and in doing so said she was okay with aiding and abetting sedition.  I guess rejecting sedition out of hand qualifies as being closed-minded to you.  

      Also, want to substantiate your allegations against Phil Weiser now?  Or are you too much of a coward?

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