Exit The Execrable John Eastman, Disgraced And Soon To Be Disbarred

Exit The Execrable John Eastman, Disgraced And Soon To Be Disbarred

John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021

It happened in California last Wednesday. After presiding over a 35-day trial, State Bar Court Hearing Judge Yvette D. Roland found that John Eastman should be disbarred from practicing law. Eastman, who also faces multiple criminal charges in the Georgia RICO case for conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election, is suspended from the practice of law awaiting a determination of the case by the California Supreme Court, which has final jurisdiction in matters concerning the California bar. If the Supreme Court upholds the hearing court judge’s decision, Eastman will also be fined $10,000 and ordered to pay court costs associated with his trial for disbarment.

Eastman was one of the primary actors in Donald Trump’s conspiracy to overturn the election of 2020. Eastman caught Trump’s attention in August of that year when he wrote an op-ed piece for Newsweek falsely asserting that Kamala Harris was ineligible under the Constitution to serve as Vice President because her parents were not citizens at the time of her birth. Harris, who was born in Oakland, California, was Senator from California and had been in office for more than three years at the time of Eastman’s article.

Eastman was roundly denounced by practically every Constitutional scholar in the country for his assertion of Harris’ ineligibility, but got a positive reaction from Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign adviser who would go on to join Eastman as a defendant in the Georgia RICO case. Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony count in Georgia last October and faces disbarment in Colorado due to her guilty plea. Rudy Giuliani has had his law license suspended in New York, and Sidney “The Kraken” Powell was sanctioned in Michigan for filing specious lawsuits challenging the election results in that state.

Ellis arranged for Eastman to meet with the Trump campaign just before election day. He stayed in touch with Ellis, and in December, Trump asked him to represent him in the Supreme Court challenge of the election results filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton. In his brief to the Supreme Court, Eastman asserted that it was not necessary for Trump to prove that “fraud occurred,” only that the election results “materially deviated” from what state lawmakers had intended. Eastman added, challenging the actions of state officials who ran the 2020 election in four battleground states, “By failing to follow the rule of law, these officials put our nation's belief in elected self-government at risk.”

Two days after the Texas lawsuit was filed, the Supreme Court refused to hear it.

Eastman wasn’t finished, however. Later in December, he wrote a now infamous memo to Trump asserting that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the right to reject electoral ballots from certain battleground states, or to delay the certification of those ballots by returning them to the states. This became the final strategy employed by Trump as the meeting of Congress on January 6 approached. Eastman met with Trump and Pence in the Oval Office and told Pence he could reject ballots and adjourn the certification process in favor of giving battleground states the opportunity to investigate so-called electoral fraud.

On the morning of January 6, Eastman gave an unhinged speech at the Trump rally on the Ellipse, falsely asserting that voting machines had “hidden folders” that awarded votes that had been cast for Trump to Joe Biden. He told the crowd that he was “demanding” that Pence delay the certification of ballots that afternoon so states could “investigate” fraud.

The decision disbarring Eastman is 128 pages long and goes into every detail of Eastman’s failed and lie-filled attempts to overturn the election. The decision states that Eastman was aware that many of the claims he made in his speech on the Ellipse were lies and accused him of “ostrich-like behavior” in ignoring facts that proved there were no “hidden” ballots in Georgia.

“Eastman ignored readily available evidence demonstrating that his statements were false and willfully made intentionally false statements at the Save America rally at the Ellipse,” it says. The decision also blows holes in Eastman’s theories about Pence’s ability to disallow electoral votes and delay the certification procedures.

Eastman pursued his attempt to disrupt the certification of the election after he had left the stage at the Trump rally. That afternoon, as the crowd swarmed the Capitol and Vice President Pence was forced to leave his post presiding over the Senate’s work, Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Jacob, emailed Eastman, “thanks to your bullshit, we are now under siege.”

At 2:25 p.m., as Jacob stood with Pence at the secret location Pence had been evacuated to in a garage under the Capitol, Eastman emailed Jacob, “My bullshit, seriously? The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so the American people can see for themselves what happened.”

Eastman emailed Jacob again at 6:09 p.m., and again at 9:44 p.m., even “after the electoral count had resumed,” according to the California decision disbarring Eastman. “I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here,” Eastman wrote.

The court found that there had been no “illegal activity” and that in nearly all cases, Eastman knew this or ignored easily available evidence. “Upon consideration of the totality of the facts, the court finds weighty circumstantial evidence demonstrating a collaborative effort between Eastman and President Trump to impede the counting of elector votes on January 6, 2021, as articulated in Eastman’s memos,” the judge wrote. “The evidence clearly and convincingly proves that Eastman and President Trump entered into an agreement to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress by unlawfully having Vice President Pence reject or delay the counting of electoral votes on January 6, 2021.”

The judge’s decision in disbarring Eastman does not bode well for his chances facing charges in the RICO case in Georgia. The judge considered some of the same lies Eastman is charged with telling in Georgia, including the lie that “suitcases of ballots” had been removed from “under a table” and included in the Georgia count.

“The State Farm Arena investigation revealed, as early as December 5, 2020, that there were no ballots ‘hidden’ under a table,” the judge found. “Moreover, Eastman acknowledges that Georgia law did not require public viewing of ballot canvassing at the State Farm Arena,” another lie that Eastman had told. Noting that Eastman had not viewed a video that was available of the activities in the State Farm Arena, the judge found Eastman guilty of “willful blindness” of the facts.

Eastman was also accused of knowingly including false evidence of fraud in a lawsuit he filed against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp seeking to overturn the Georgia election results. The judge found that a footnote to the lawsuit that Eastman included seeking to “distance Trump from the allegations” in the lawsuit “demonstrates knowledge of the falsity of the allegations, otherwise such a footnote would not be needed.”

The disbarment decision goes on like that, page after deadly page. Without a license to practice law, or for that matter to represent any clients, Eastman is going to have a hard time finding the money to pay the fine and court costs assessed against him. When Eastman billed the Trump campaign for the legal services he provided during the coup attempt, including his phony Pence memo and lawsuits filled with lies that he filed on the campaign’s behalf, Trump refused to pay him.

With his disbarment in effect and the record of evidence in the case available to Fani Willis and her Georgia prosecutors, ever the Trump sycophant, loyal to the end, Eastman has vowed to fight the charges he faces in Georgia. Good luck with that.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this is reprinted with permission.

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