John Eastman: Group urges California bar to investigate pro-Trump lawyer who tried to convince Pence to call off election

In a letter sent Monday by more than two dozen people – including a former chairman of the State Bar of California, two former federal judges and a host of other former state officials and experts from across the United States – to George Cardona , which oversees disciplinary matters for the SBC, the group said “serious evidence of misconduct” by pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman should be investigated.

“The available evidence supports strong arguments that the state bar should investigate whether, during Mr. Trump’s representation, Mr. Eastman violated his ethical obligations as a lawyer by making frivolous allegations,” by making false statements and engaging in deceptive behavior, “the letter reads.

As CNN previously reported, Eastman’s efforts while working with then-President Donald Trump’s legal team were detailed in a new book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The ploy he had advanced was described in a two-page note obtained by reporters which was later obtained by CNN. The memo, which had not been released previously, provides details showing how Trump and his team tried to persuade Pence to overturn the Constitution and reject the election results as Congress struggled to certify the votes of the Electoral college.
Eastman’s memo laid out a six-step plan for Pence to overturn Trump’s election, which included overturning results in seven states because they would have had competing voters. In fact, no state had come up with an alternative voters list – there were only Trump allies claiming no authority to be voters.

The letter sent to Cardona on Monday refers to Eastman’s memo, in addition to other actions taken by him, with the signatories saying that “the document’s assertion was based on nothing more than the idea that legitimacy of the election continued to be “contested” in an unexplained fashion. ”

“This conclusion was completely wrong – and Mr. Eastman knew it or was willfully blind,” they wrote.

Eastman on Tuesday dismissed the complaint as “hyperpartisan and political,” telling CNN on a phone call: “I hope the bar association summarily does without.”

The group also refers to other disciplinary action taken against pro-Trump lawyers who aided the former president’s legal efforts to quash the election.

“Although much of Mr. Eastman’s conduct involved speeches on political matters, it is not protected by the First Amendment. As demonstrated by the discipline and sanctions already imposed on other Trump lawyers , a lawyer representing a politician and dealing directly with the courts and third parties is not free to ignore the reality. Instead, a lawyer should avoid speeches that are intentionally false or misleading, “the letter.

The letter was written on behalf of the United States Center for United Democracy, a non-partisan organization whose job is to “help ensure that violators of democracy are held accountable,” according to the complaint.
Norm Eisen, the organization’s executive chairman and one of the letter’s signatories, declined to say on Monday whether the group hoped the California bar would suspend Eastman’s license, as did the New York and Washington, DC bar. , did so earlier this year to Rudy Giuliani, another pro-Trump lawyer.

“This determination… belongs to the State Bar of California,” Eisen, who served as ethics czar and former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, told CNN. “The consequences of President Trump and his facilitators’ aggression on our democracy still reverberate today.”

“And Mr. Eastman was instrumental in that,” he added. “And we believe that his statements of fact and law which have been facilitated by his law degree and his status as a lawyer should be scrutinized by the bar.”

Eisen also said the bipartisan nature of the letter demonstrates the seriousness of the matter.

“We have an extraordinary bipartisan spectrum because the concerns here transcend the usual partisanship,” he said. “This is as serious a basis as possible to request an investigation.”

This story has been updated with comments from John Eastman.

CNN’s Paula Reid contributed to this report.

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