Judge Recommends Ex-Trump Election Lawyer Be Disbarred

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A California attorney discipline judge released an opinion Wednesday recommending that former President Donald Trump’s previous election lawyer John Eastman be disbarred.

State Bar Court of California Judge Yvette Roland signed off on Eastman’s recommendation which will be brought forward to the U.S. Supreme Court who will have the final decision in the lawyer’s case. The court filing stated that after consideration of Eastman’s charges, the Office of Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar of California (OCTC) “satisfied its burden” in proving 10 of his 11 counts, as the court dismissed one. (RELATED: Judge Overseeing Trump Hush Money Case Issues Gag Order)

“After full consideration of the record, the court finds that OCTC has satisfied its burden of proving all charges except for count eleven, which the court dismisses with prejudice. Given the circumstances surrounding Eastman’s misconduct and balancing the aggravation and mitigation, the court recommends that Eastman be disbarred,” the court filing stated.

The former Trump lawyer was accused by the State Bar of California of allegedly harming the country through election interference in 2020 by attempting to help Trump disrupt the transfer of power after President Joe Biden had won. The State Bar charged Eastman with one count of failing to support the Constitution and laws of the United States, two counts of seeking to mislead a court, six counts of moral turpitude by making various misrepresentations, and two additional counts of moral turpitude.

Roland detailed the court’s arguments against Eastman’s alleged action throughout the sweeping 128-page filing, calling out Eastman’s “lack of insight into the wrongfulness of his misconduct” as “deeply troubling.” To support their argument against Eastman, the State Bar used over 400 pieces of evidence and nearly two dozen witnesses to recreate the events leading to Jan. 6.

“While attorneys have a duty to advocate zealously for their clients, they must do so within the bounds of ethical and legal constraints. Eastman’s actions transgressed those ethical limits by advocating, participating in and pursuing a strategy to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election that lacked evidentiary or legal support. Vigorous advocacy does not absolve Eastman of his professional responsibilities around honesty and upholding the rule of law,” the court filing stated.

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“While his actions are mitigated by his many years of discipline-free practice, cooperation, and prior good character, his wrongdoing is substantially aggravated by his multiple offenses, lack of candor and indifference. Given the serious and extensive nature of Eastman’s unethical actions, the most severe available professional sanction is warranted to protect the public and preserve the public confidence in the legal system.”

Following Roland’s opinion, Eastman’s attorney, Randy Miller, released a statement defending Eastman’s actions were “based on reliable legal precedent, prior presidential elections, research of constitutional text, and extensive scholarly material,” according to The Washington Post.

“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. They are ethically bound to be zealous advocates for their clients — a duty Dr. Eastman holds inviolate. To the extent today’s decision curtails that principle, we are confident the Review Court will swiftly provide a remedy,” Miller stated.

In addition to disbarment, Roland claimed that Eastman should be fined $10,000 in monetary sanctions for his alleged “misconduct in connection with filing several pleadings seeking to mislead the courts,” as well as “making numerous false and misleading statements regarding the conduct of the 2020 presidential election and Vice President Pence’s authority to refuse to count or delay counting properly certified slates of electoral votes and for his collaborative efforts with President Trump to impede the counting of electoral votes.”

Eastman currently faces additional charges in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ case against Trump accusing him of interfering in the 2020 election.