Ex-Donald Trump lawyer John Eastman should lose state law license for efforts to overturn election, judge says

A judge has recommended that conservative attorney John Eastman lose his California law license over his efforts to keep former President Donald Trump in power after the 2020 election.

Eastman, a former law school dean, faced 11 disciplinary charges in the state bar court stemming from his development of a legal strategy to have then-Vice President Mike Pence interfere with the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

State Bar Court of California Judge Yvette Roland’s recommendation, issued Wednesday, now goes to the California Supreme Court for a final ruling on whether he should be disbarred. Eastman can appeal the top court’s decision.

“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, said in a statement after the ruling. “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.”

The judge found Eastman liable for 10 of the 11 charges, including misleading courts, moral turpitude, making false statements and plotting with Trump to hinder the transfer of power.

“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 in her 128-page decision.

The California State Bar is a regulatory agency and the only court system in the U.S. that is dedicated to attorney discipline.

Eastman separately faces criminal charges in Georgia in the case accusing Trump and 18 allies of conspiring to overturn the Republican’s loss in the state. Eastman, who has pleaded not guilty, has argued he was merely doing his job as Trump’s attorney when he challenged the results of the 2020 election. He has denounced the case as targeting attorneys “for their zealous advocacy on behalf of their clients.”

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