According to the statement, Eastman is accused of making false and misleading statements about alleged election fraud — including statements he made at an Oval rally outside the White House ahead of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.In explaining the charge, the California Bar directly linked Eastman’s speech to the insurrection, saying he “facilitated the incitement of the crowd to attack and vandalize the Capitol to intimidate the then-Vice President.” [Mike] Pence also blocked the vote count from proceeding. “
Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University School of Law who specializes in legal ethics, called the series of charges against Eastman “draconian.”
“[It] Eastman alleges that Eastman willfully or with gross negligence failed to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the state of California, which he swore to do so,” Gilles said. In other words, he is a bad guy, not just a bad lawyer. “
The state bar association’s announcement follows an investigation that has lasted nearly a year. Cardona’s office concluded that Eastman violated Business and Professions Code Section 6106 by “making false and misleading statements that constitute ‘moral immorality, dishonesty and corruption.'”
“Nothing is more sacrosanct to our American democracy than free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power,” Cardona said in a statement. is their highest legal obligation.”
Cardona added that Eastman “violated that duty by attempting to usurp the will of the American people and overturn the results of the election for the highest office in the country — an unprecedented and appalling attack on our democracy — for which he must Responsible”
Randall A. Miller, an attorney for Eastman, said Trump’s election advisers disputed “every aspect” of the California Bar’s actions.
“Any lawyer engaged in providing legal evaluations in a dynamic, important and often emotional area should be deeply disturbed if they do not like the advice of a lawyer, or find out that the issuing authority (lawyer) can take their license, publicize Disgusting,” Miller said.
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Eastman has been called the “architect” of Trump’s plot to steal the 2020 election. He wrote an infamous memo outlining several ways Pence could help not prove Joe Biden won. The former law professor at Chapman University School of Law and an active member of the Federalist Society believes Pence could reject voters in states won by Biden.
Eastman has refused to turn over thousands of emails to a House select committee investigating the insurrection. The panel requested the documents because they relate to Eastman’s role in trying to persuade Pence to reject those voters. Eastman cited attorney-client privilege as a shield against handing over the documents, as he has said he was representing Trump at the time.
The committee argued that Eastman’s claim of privilege could be invalidated by the “criminal/fraud exception,” which generally grants confidentiality to attorneys and their clients, arguing that an attorney need not keep communications confidential if the attorney is found to have facilitated his client’s communications. crime.
Ultimately, the committee recommended that the Justice Department investigate and prosecute Eastman on two counts. The panel concluded that Eastman knew “Vice President Pence could not refuse to count the electoral votes on January 6 before the 2020 election.”
The California Bar came to the same conclusion, saying Eastman’s tactics were “not supported by law” and “based on false and misleading factual assertions designed to keep Trump in office.”
In its disciplinary notice, the California Bar concluded that Eastman “knew, or should have known, that the factual premise of his proposal — that massive fraud was at work — was false and that Trump had lost re-election campaign.” Cardona’s office also said Eastman chose to ignore those facts when he spoke at the Jan. 6 rally.
In the 35-page notice, Duncan Carling, supervising attorney for the California Bar, wrote that beginning on or about December 9, 2020, and at least until January 6, 2021, Eastman “Continued to work with Trump and others to promote election results that were contested and stolen from Trump due to fraud, disregard for state election laws, and misconduct by election officials.”
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If the state attorney’s court rules that Eastman’s actions warrant suspension or suspension, the recommendation will go to the California Supreme Court, which will decide Eastman’s fate.
The move to bring disciplinary charges against Eastman was praised by the United Democratic Center for America, a Washington-based group that promotes fair and safe elections, which said in a statement that Eastman was part of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election “planner”.
“He has abused the legal system and violated his oath as a lawyer in an attempt to thwart the will of the people and prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” said Christine P. Sun, the group’s senior vice president of legal.