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California judge recommends disbarring pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman


Attorney John Eastman faces disciplinary charges from the California Bar for his role in legal efforts to keep Donald Trump in power after his 2020 presidential election defeat.

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press


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Jae C. Hong/Associated Press


Attorney John Eastman faces disciplinary charges from the California Bar for his role in legal efforts to keep Donald Trump in power after his 2020 presidential election defeat.

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

A California judge has formally recommended that attorney John Eastman lose his law license for his role in the legal effort to keep Donald Trump in power after his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Eastman, a well-known figure in conservative legal circles and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, played a key role in developing and supporting a plan to have states send support to Congress Trump’s slate of electors and allowed then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally block or delay the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

“Eastman’s misconduct constituted an extremely serious ethical violation requiring strict professional discipline,” California Bar Court Judge Yvette Roland wrote in her book. Decide“In court filings and in public remarks heard by countless Americans and others, Eastman made a number of comments regarding the conduct of the 2020 presidential election and Vice President Pence’s authority to refuse to count or delay the counting of properly certified ballots. Made multiple manifestly false and misleading statements. January 6, 2021. “

Judge Rowland also criticized Eastman’s defiant response to the charges against him.

“His lack of insight into the wrongfulness of his misconduct is deeply troubling,” Judge Rowland wrote. “While Eastman was entitled to defend himself, his conduct went beyond that and demonstrated a complete lack of understanding.” the wrongness of one’s actions.”

In addition to being disbarred, Judge Rowland recommended that Eastman pay a $10,000 fine.

Judge Rowland’s recommendation will be reviewed by the California Supreme Court, which will ultimately determine whether he can retain his law license. At the same time, Judge Rowland’s decision places Eastman’s license into “involuntary invalidation” status, which will effectively bar Eastman from practicing law. .

In response to the decision, Randall Miller, an attorney representing Eastman in the state attorney lawsuit, said Eastman will appeal. “Dr. Eastman maintains that his handling of the legal issues he was asked to evaluate after the November 2020 election was based on sound legal precedent, previous residential elections, and the text of the Constitution,” Miller wrote in a statement. research as well as a wide range of academic materials. ”

In the case against Eastman, the California Bar argued that Eastman “abused his license in a serious and harmful manner designed to undermine our democracy, undermine the peaceful transfer of presidential power, and operate in a free and frustrate the will of the people”. Fair elections. In doing so, he betrayed the fundamental duties and oaths he swore to uphold. “

Eastman has denied all wrongdoing, insisting he was simply zealously defending his client, Trump, and that his legal arguments were sound and worthy of debate. In California Bar Court, Eastman was frustrated by his defense and continued to argue that the 2020 election was compromised by widespread illegal conduct.In recent media appearances, he also Quote Extensive debunking of claims of election fraud, such as pro-Trump movies”2,000 mules.

In court, the California State Bar countered Eastman’s claims with evidence and testimony from state election officials. Eastman, for his part, is frustrated that he has not taken steps to independently verify several claims of election fraud he has made in legal proceedings.

One of Trump’s many regrets

Eastman is one of several complainants advancing Trump’s 2020 election efforts who have since faced disciplinary action from legal authorities, including Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark, Jenna Ellis and Sidney ·Powell.

Eastman also faces state criminal charges in Fulton County, Georgia, for his role in the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He was not found guilty. Special prosecutor Jack Smith also ordered a transcript of Eastman’s testimony to be made available in California Bar Court. , suggesting Eastman is also under federal scrutiny, as first reported Politico.

Before joining Trump’s legal team, Eastman served as dean of Chapman University School of Law and ran unsuccessfully for California attorney general in 2010.

After the 2020 election, Eastman joined Trump’s legal campaign to overturn the election results and made fraud claims that have been dismissed by courts. Eastman later wrote a memo describing a plan under which Pence would block Congress’ certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.

On the morning of January 6, 2021, Eastman took the stage with Rudy Giuliani at a pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse near the White House, claiming that the election was tainted by “fraud.” Addressing the crowd, Eastman said without any evidence that the computers tallying vote totals had a “secret folder” used to falsify the results and pressure Pence to take action.

Despite pressure from Trump, Eastman and others, Pence ultimately rejected the plan as unconstitutional.

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, injuring 140 police officers, forcing lawmakers and their staff to evacuate or go into hiding and delaying the certification of the Electoral College vote.

“Thank you for the cow”[****], we are now under siege. After the riot broke out, Greg Jacob, who serves as Pence’s legal counsel, sent Eastman an email.

Eastman responded: “The ‘siege’ is because you and your bosses did not take the necessary steps to have this matter aired publicly so the American people could see for themselves what was going on.”

Despite the attacks, Eastman continues to advocate for Pence to block the certification of Biden’s victory.

Days later, Eastman sought to protect himself from potential legal consequences related to the Capitol attack.

“I have decided that if the pardon list is still pending, I should be placed on the pardon list,” Eastman wrote in an email to Rudy Giuliani on January 11, 2021.

Eastman described the California State Bar’s legal review as politically motivated. “This is authoritarianism, not republicanism,” he ruefully wrote in his closing argument.



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