Posts tagged with "Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona"

Judge recommends that John Eastman be disbarred for 2020 election BS

March 29, 2024

On Wednesday, March 27, a judge recommended that John Eastman–a now-infamous former lawyer for former President Donald Trump during the chaotic final days of his presidential term–be disbarred in California as the result of a case centered around his desperate attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Trump’s favor, reports The Daily Beast.

“Eastman’s wrongdoing constitutes exceptionally serious ethical violations warranting severe professional discipline,” the court states in its decision.

Eastman, 63, can no longer practice law in California, unless he wins an appeal. The decision from Judge Yvette Roland means his law license will now be deemed “inactive” until a decision on whether he will appeal or not. The move to an inactive status comes into effect three calendar days after the order is served. Absent a challenge, the recommendation goes to the California Supreme Court for review, the State Bar of California said.

On Wednesday night, a lawyer for Eastman confirmed his plans to appeal, which means the case will go before a panel of judges before making its way to the state Supreme Court. His law license will remain inactive during the appeals process.

In a statement, Eastman’s attorney, Randall Miller, told The Daily Beast that his client “maintains that his handling of the legal issues he was asked to assess after November 2020 election was based on reliable legal precedent, prior presidential elections, research of constitutional text, and extensive scholarly material.”

“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 statement continued, noting Eastman also faces criminal charges in Georgia alongside Trump and will continue to plead his innocence.

“Any reasonable person can see the inherent unfairness of prohibiting a presumed-innocent defendant from being able to earn the funds needed to pay for the enormous expenses required to defend himself, in the profession in which he has long been licensed,” Miller said. “That is not justice and serves no legitimate purpose to protect the public.”

Defending the win in court, Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona said in a statement after the ruling that, “Every California attorney has the duty to uphold the constitution and the rule of law. [Mr.] Eastman repeatedly violated that duty. Worse, he did so in a way that threatened the fundamental principles of our democracy.

 “The substantial evidence presented over 35 days of trial showed, and the court has now held, that … Eastman abandoned his ethical and legal duties as an attorney to conspire with then-President Donald Trump to develop and implement a strategy to obstruct the counting of electoral votes on January 6, 2021; and illegally disrupt the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joseph Biden, knowing that there was no good faith theory or argument to lawfully reject the electoral votes of any state or delay the January 6 electoral count.

“[Mr.] Eastman’s efforts failed only because our democratic institutions and those committed to upholding them held strong. The harm caused by … Eastman’s abandonment of his duties as a lawyer, and the threat his actions posed to our democracy, more than warrant his disbarment.”

The ruling came four months after a judge in the California State Bar Court found Eastman culpable for moral and legal violations that stemmed from his work for Trump.

Eastman was the author of a so-called “coup memo,” which laid out a long-shot plot explaining how, despite soundly losing to Biden in 2020, Trump could remain in office.

That memo leaned hard on the fringe legal theory that Mike Pence, then the vice president, had the unilateral authority to reject certified state electors and send the matter back to Republican-led state legislatures, who would then throw the election to Trump. The questionable legal theory sparked a firestorm among Trump’s die-hard supporters, who then put pressure on Pence to ignore the will of the people and nullify the election.

Pence refused to do so—an act that’s been cited as a key reason Trump supporters raided the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Eastman has since been indicted alongside Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, on charges related to his attempts to alter election results. In the aftermath of that indictment, Eastman decried that Trump’s lawyers were being unfairly targeted for their role in trying to overturn the election.

In a statement, he said last August that he surrendered to Georgia authorities for “an indictment that should never have been brought.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast