- A nonpartisan legal organization published a scathing complaint against attorney John Eastman Tuesday.
- Eastman penned a January 2021 memo to convince Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election.
- The House committee investigating the Capitol riot issued Eastman a subpoena earlier this month.
A nonpartisan election security nonprofit urged the California Bar Association to investigate John Eastman, a conservative attorney who counseled President Donald Trump.
In a letter addressed to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel earlier this week, legal experts with the States United Democracy Center called for the probe into Eastman, who penned a memo arguing how then-Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the 2020 election results during the January 6 election certification process.
Six weeks after filing an initial complaint in October, the States United Democracy Center followed up on Eastman’s “potential legal ethics violations” with a new letter on Tuesday citing “a great deal” of new evidence that “strongly confirms the allegations of ethical conduct” in its initial complaint.
A two-page memo first published by CNN in September and obtained by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa for their book “Peril,” detailed Eastman’s proposed argument for how the Trump administration could maintain the White House despite losing the 2020 presidential election.
Insider later acquired a six-page version of Eastman’s memo, which suggested Pence toss out the results from seven states and then redirect the election to the House of Representatives.
The memo prompted scrutiny surrounding Eastman, a former clerk for Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, for his advisory to Trump during the final year of his presidency.
In Tuesday’s complaint, the nonpartisan group of legal experts at the States United Democracy Center backed up their demand for an investigation into Eastman with a previously unpublished draft op-ed for The Post written by Greg Jacob, former chief counsel to Pence, in January 2021.
In the op-ed, which the organization called “the most striking piece of new information,” Jacob also called for an investigation into Eastman, as well as former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, for their role in trying to halt the certification of the 2020 election. Jacob accused Eastman and other outside lawyers of spinning “a web of lies and disinformation” and betraying their oath to uphold the law and the Constitution.
“Now that the moment of immediate crisis has passed, the legal profession should dispassionately examine whether the attorneys involved should be disciplined for using their credentials to sell a stream of snake oil to the most powerful office in the world, wrapped in the guise of a lawyer’s advice,” Jacob wrote.
The Tuesday letter also included a timeline of Eastman’s alleged unethical conduct, highlighting his conversations with Giuliani. The timeline also notes conversations Eastman and Giuliani had with state lawmakers wherein the attorneys reportedly encouraged legislators to decertify the appointed electors and appoint new ones.
The authors of the complaint suggested the new information cemented Eastman’s “central role” in Trump’s attempt to derail Congress on January 6 as a means of maintaining executive power.
“Mr. Eastman also appears to have had a larger role than previously understood in both public and private efforts to pressure Mr. Pence, and the new incidents that have emerged confirm his indifference to the truth and to upholding the Constitution,” the letter read.
The former law professor resigned from Chapman University in January following an outcry from students and faculty for his participation in the “Stop the Steal” rally. A House committee also subpoenaed Eastman earlier this month in connection to its investigation into the Capitol riot.
In response to the States United Democracy Center filing its initial complaint in October, Eastman told Insider’s Charles Davis that the memo was “politically motivated” and that he looked forward to “responding in full” if it advances.
A representative at the Claremont Institute, the conservative think tank where Eastman is a senior fellow, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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