Everything Trump touches dies is a popular axiom because it is so true. John Eastman is about to find out how true. Eastman was once content to sit in the ivory tower of academia and ponder fact patterns, if this, then that, kinds of scenarios. Then he got in wayyy over his head when he decided to go beyond mere speculation and see if he could actually pull off a coup d’etat and keep Donald Trump in the White House, even after his resounding 2020 defeat at the polls.
I’m sure it was very heady for Eastman, to be the purported constitutional scholar that had the ear of the president of the United States. That’s pretty high cotton by anybody’s yardstick. Unfortunately, the “president” was the Great Imposter, Donald Trump. A combination of Trump’s desperation and Eastman’s hubris led both of them into climbing out on a pretty thin limb and taking democracy out there with them.
Teflon Don may yet walk free. We don’t know the end of Trump’s story, we only know that for each winding permutation of road that we go down, new forks and cul de sacs appear and we travel into those. Maybe all the roads lead inevitably to the same place. Whether that place is accountability or escape, we can only conjecture. But not so with respect to Eastman. Eastman’s situation is rapidly deteriorating.
John Eastman, the architect of Trump’s ‘fake elector’ scheme, says that people in govt and on social media have conspired try and get him unfairly disbarred because they are addicted to power. pic.twitter.com/Gb01SKBFjX
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) February 21, 2023
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, 2021, 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.”
As has been widely reported, Eastman drafted two “legal memos” that laid out proposed strategies to block then-President-elect Joe Biden from taking office by circumventing established procedures for the counting of electoral votes in front of the U.S. Congress and overseen by Vice President Pence. The NDC alleges that the strategies proposed by these memos, as well as in remarks Eastman made publicly and privately to President Trump, Vice President Pence, and others, were unsupported by law, based on false and misleading assertions of fact, and designed for the purpose of keeping Trump in office. The NDC alleges that, after hearing from the U.S. Department of Justice that it had not seen any election fraud on a scale that could have affected the election’s outcome, and after multiple courts had rejected election fraud lawsuits, Eastman knew, or should have known, that the factual premise for his proposals―that massive fraud was at play―was false, and that Trump had lost his bid for re-election.
The NDC also alleges that Eastman ignored these truths when he spoke at the “Save America March” on January 6, 2021, inciting the crowd to take action when, with the intent to convince them that the outcome of the presidential election had been affected by fraud, he said that “dead people had voted” in the presidential election, that Dominion voting machines had fraudulently manipulated the election results, and that Vice President Pence did not deserve to be in office if he did not delay the counting of electoral votes. These statements contributed to provoking the crowd that participated in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol that occurred after the rally.
I am going to love seeing Eastman’s defense to this. This is pretty cut and dried. I hope he has plans to host a right-wing talk show or some such, because I think Eastman’s days as a lawyer are pretty much done. Or, maybe Clarence Thomas will give him some work as a paralegal or research assistant. Frankly, I would be surprised if Eastman hadn’t called the Thomas household already.
And as to his relationship with Trump? Will Trump give him a leg up, considering how he was the one who got Eastman into this mess? You know as well as I do that Trump will say, “Lawyer? He was a lawyer and a constitutional scholar? He made coffee, I think. I don’t know because I hardly remember him.” Michael Cohen can explain it all to Eastman, if Eastman can’t figure it out for himself.