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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 
states.

   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 
statement said.

   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 
added.

   "He was a lawyer, not Rasputin," Miller said.

   The bar disclosed in March that it was investigating Eastman for possible 
ethics violations.

   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."

 
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