A press release moments ago from the California State Bar announced the filing of 11 misconduct charges against attorney and former University of Colorado Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy John Eastman over Eastman’s role in plotting the failed legal strategy behind ex-President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections:
The State Bar of California’s Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona announced today the filing of a Notice of Disciplinary Charges (NDC) against attorney John Charles Eastman (State Bar No. 193726). The 11 charges arise from allegations that Eastman engaged in a course of conduct to plan, promote, and assist then-President Trump in executing a strategy, unsupported by facts or law, to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by obstructing the count of electoral votes of certain states.
Specific charges allege that Eastman made false and misleading statements regarding purported election fraud, including statements on January 6, 2020, at a rally in Washington, D.C., that contributed to provoking a crowd to assault and breach the Capitol to intimidate then-Vice President Pence and prevent the electoral count from proceeding.
The Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) intends to seek Eastman’s disbarment before the State Bar Court.
In March 2022, Cardona invoked a public protection waiver to announce that an investigation of Eastman was underway. Eastman now faces multiple charges that he violated Business and Professions Code section 6106 by making false and misleading statements that constitute acts of “moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption.”
“There is nothing more sacrosanct to our American democracy than free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power,” said Cardona. “For California attorneys, adherence to the U.S. and California Constitutions is their highest legal duty. The Notice of Disciplinary Charges alleges that Mr. 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—for which he must be held accountable.”
Eastman, who after drawing on CU’s payroll inserted himself into Colorado Republicans’ legal squabbles, and association with defeated 2022 gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl accelerated Ganahl’s historic crash and burn, joins former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in facing disbarment over ethical breaches committed while attempting to keep Trump in office past his constitutional expiration date. Both New York and California have robust attorney regulation oversight. Less clear as of this writing is the fate of the third principal attorney who worked closely with Giuliani and Eastman to help overturn the 2020 election, Colorado traffic court lawyer-turned “constitutional scholar” Jenna Ellis of Colorado Christian University. A complaint seeking Ellis’ disbarment was filed almost a year ago with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.
Ellis, who was in on the Trump coup plot up to her eyeballs and authored her own legal strategy for blowing off the results of the 2020 elections, deserves the same sanction. The lack of repentance among all of these figures after their unprecedented and violent attempt to overthrow American democracy cries out for the maximum lawful penalty.
Unless he’s a damned fool, Eastman’s not smirking anymore. And that’s a measure of accountability.