Eastman Faces CA Disciplinary Charges 01/27 06:07
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Conservative attorney John Eastman, a lead architect of
some of former President Donald Trump's efforts to remain in power after the
2020 election, was slapped Thursday with a series of disciplinary charges in
California that could lead to his disbarment.
The State Bar of California's chief trial counsel, George Cardona, said in a
statement that the 11 charges stem from allegations that Eastman assisted Trump
with a strategy -- not supported by facts -- to overturn the legitimate results
of the 2020 election by obstructing the count of electoral votes of certain
The office intends to seek Eastman's disbarment.
Eastman, the former dean of Chapman University law school in Southern
California, was one of Trump's lawyers during the election. He wrote a memo
that argued former Vice President Mike Pence could keep Trump in power by
overturning the results of the election during a joint session of Congress
convened to count electoral votes. Critics have likened that to instructions
for staging a coup.
The State Bar said Eastman faces charges that he violated the business and
professions code by making false and misleading statements that constitute acts
of "moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption."
Eastman disputes "every aspect" of the charges filed by the State Bar, which
are based on his role as counsel to the former president after the election,
his attorney, Randall A. Miller, said in a statement.
The State Bar's action "is part of a nationwide effort to use the bar
discipline process to penalize attorneys who opposed the current administration
in the last presidential election. Americans of both political parties should
be troubled by this politicization of our nation's state bars," Miller's
In advising Trump, "Eastman's assessments were the product of comprehensive
research of the law and historical records -- including the 12th Amendment and
Electoral Count Act -- supported by reasonable interpretation of legal and
historical precedent, scholarly analysis, and legislative history," Miller
"He was a lawyer, not Rasputin," Miller said.
The bar disclosed in March that it was investigating Eastman for possible
As the State Bar's chief trial counsel, Cardona investigates and prosecutes
attorney disciplinary matters before the State Bar Court, which can recommend
attorneys be either suspended or, in some cases, lose their licenses to
practice law. The California Supreme Court ultimately decides what to do.
Eastman has been a member of the California Bar since 1997, according to its
website. He was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and
a founding director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a law firm
affiliated with the Claremont Institute. He ran for California attorney general
in 2010, finishing second in the Republican primary.
Eastman retired as dean of the Chapman University law school last year after
more than 160 faculty members signed a letter calling for the university to
take action against him.
In his statement, Cardona said the charges allege that Eastman "violated
this duty in furtherance of an attempt to usurp the will of the American people
and overturn election results for the highest office in the land -- an
egregious and unprecedented attack on our democracy."