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Ex-Trump Lawyer Should Lose State Law License for Efforts to Overturn Election, Judge Says

via 60 Minutes
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California judge Yvette Roland recommended disbarring conservative attorney John Eastman over his efforts to help former President Trump overturn the 2020 election results.

The judge found Eastman liable for 10 of 11 charges including dishonesty, corruption and conspiring with Trump to disrupt the electoral vote certification on January 6th.

“Dr. Eastman maintains that his handling of the legal issues he was asked to assess after the November 2020 election was based on reliable legal precedent, prior presidential elections, research of constitutional text, and extensive scholarly material,” Eastman’s attorney, Randall Miller, stated. “The process undertaken by Dr. Eastman in 2020 is the same process taken by lawyers every day and everywhere – indeed, that is the essence of what lawyers do.”

If approved by the state Supreme Court, Eastman would lose his law license.

Eastman served as a key adviser to Trump and wrote a memo laying out ways for Vice President Pence to reject electoral votes for Biden.

Prosecutors argued Eastman fabricated baseless fraud claims to overturn the election, while Eastman claimed he considered delay tactics so states could investigate allegations.

However, the judge ruled Eastman’s actions went beyond zealous advocacy and that he presented falsehoods in violation of his ethical duties.

“Eastman conspired with President Trump to obstruct a lawful function of the government of the United States; specifically, by conspiring to disrupt the electoral count on January 6, 2021,” Roland wrote.

The State Bar of California stated 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.”

“In view of the circumstances surrounding Eastman’s misconduct and balancing the aggravation and mitigation, the court recommends that Eastman be disbarred,” Roland wrote.

“It is true that an attorney has a duty to engage in zealous advocacy on behalf of a client,” Roland wrote. “However, Eastman’s inaccurate assertions were lies that cannot be justified as zealous advocacy. Eastman failed to uphold his primary duty of honesty and breached his ethical obligations by presenting falsehoods to bolster his legal arguments. Finally, the court notes that acts of moral turpitude are a departure from professional norms and are unequivocally outside the realm of protection afforded by the First Amendment and the obligation of vigorous advocacy.”

“This is a crucial victory in the effort to hold accountable those who tried to overturn the 2020 election. After hearing from almost two dozen witnesses over a 35-day trial, the court found that John Eastman violated his ethical duties to uphold the constitution,” said Christine P. Sun, the States United Democracy Center’s senior vice president. “This decision sends an unmistakable message: No one is above the law — not presidents, and not their lawyers.”

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