Trump lawyer John Eastman certainly should be disbarred

He used his law license to provide cover for an illegal scheme to overthrow the 2020 election.

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Susan Walsh Associated Press

When lawyerslose their licenses to practice law, it’s typically because they mistreated their clients. Perhaps they improperly spent the client’s money to pay off personal bills, rather than to hire investigators or experts, or otherwise work on the case. Maybe they regularly failed to meet deadlines for filing court papers, or just weren’t sufficiently zealous in representing their clients’ interests.

The State Bar of California’s case against attorney and legal scholar John C. Eastman was quite different.

Eastman was zealous, and then some, in crafting legal arguments and strategies that attempted to justify the disproven claims of his client — Donald Trump — that he was cheated out of reelection in 2020, and that Vice President Mike Pence had superpowers to accept or reject state election results involving Trump’s candidacy, and his own.

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Only rarely do licensing authorities discipline lawyers for going overboard on their clients’ behalf, and for good reason. Lawyers should have leeway to try a range of arguments and legal theories, and should not be sanctioned for being novel or even audacious in advocating for their clients. They should not be punished for arguing theories not currently in vogue. They are protected by the 1st Amendment.

Up to a point.

A lawyer’s duty, crucially, extends beyond the client. Attorneys are officers of the court, and key figures in a system whose purpose is to determine the truth, apply the law and achieve justice. California lawyers take an oath to support the Constitution and to conduct themselves with integrity.

State Bar Court judge on Wednesday ruled — appropriately and wisely — that in providing legal cover for Trump’s dishonest bid to subvert the 2020 election, Eastman violated his oath, undermined the quest for truth and justice, and inflicted serious and perhaps lasting damage on the very institutions of democracy and law that are the foundation of his profession.

Notwithstanding Eastman’s reputation as a legal scholar and former dean of Chapman Law School in Orange — and as a 2010 candidate for California attorney general — Judge Yvette Roland recommended that he be permanently disbarred.

The final decision is up to the state Supreme Court.

It would best serve California, the legal profession and election integrity for the court to follow Roland’s recommendation. Eastman’s conduct was egregious. As Trump was selling his election fraud fairy tale to the public, and after states’ election officials certified slates of electors, state and federal courts rejected suits to overturn the certifications and state legislatures rejected challenges, Eastman wrote two memos mapping out plans for Pence to ignore all of those actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

In the words of the State Bar’s trial counsel, Eastman demonstrated that he knew his role as Trump’s lawyer “was not to provide good faith advocacy, but to fabricate an illusion of legality to an illegal effort to delay the formal recognition of Trump’s obvious defeat by any means possible.”

He used his law license to provide cover for an illegal scheme. He counseled Pence to break the law. He made, or stood behind, statements that he almost certainly knew to be false, such as an argument by Texas officials in its lawsuit to undermine the election that the probability of Biden actually winning in four states — given Trump’s lead in early election night counting — were “less than one in a quadrillion to the fourth power.” His legal arguments were specious.

Roland cited the example of Donald Segretti, a California lawyer who became infamous during the Watergate scandal amid President Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign. Segretti’s misconduct was child’s play in comparison with Eastman’s. He faked letters to stir chaos among Democratic candidates. His dirty tricks had nothing to do with his being a lawyer, yet he was suspended from law practice for two years for failing to uphold the ethical standards of the legal profession.

Eastman’s actions were infinitely worse and require much tougher sanctions. He didn’t merely lie in an attempt to change voters’ minds. He actively tried to disenfranchise voters who had already cast their ballots, in what Roland called “an egregious and unprecedented attack on our democracy.”

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times


  1. The only reason that Mr. Eastman is the center of controversy is that he correctly asserted based on the Constitution of the United States that the current vice president was ineligible to run for president because neither of her parents were citizens of the United States. If this was Joe or Joan Q Public, And they were in the blue corner, absolutely, nothing would happen.

  2. THe bottom line is that the State Bar is composed of liberals and uber-liberals so any lawyer who is an outspoken conservative already has two strikes against him or her.

  3. I agree with the previous comment. Democrats were just jealous that they didn’t think of this. John Eastman is a saint that was thrown to the wolves. The most shameful part of all of this is that Republicans have done nothing meaningful in the last four years to restore election integrity. Arguably it has gotten even worse.

  4. April Fools!!!!

  5. Treva Bennett says

    Consider the source. Eastman being a constitutional expert for many year would never stick his neck out to do something illegal. He believed in what he did was constitutional. I’d believe him over the biased liberals that would have difficulty citing a paragraph of the constitution Eastman is a fine honorable attorney who doesn’t deserve this backlash. I support him 100 percent!

  6. SAD….SAD…. what a commie world we live in these days! God help us and BLESS the USA!!!

  7. This lawfare and intimidation of a conservative. He did nothing wrong

  8. George Miller says

    This is BS. Why are you spreading LA Slimes lies?

    1. Claims were not “disproven:” just because cowardly/corrupt judges refused to grant discovery and refused to hear evidence.

    2. “Knees” Harris is not a natural born Citizen. Citizen- maybe.

    3. Thomas Jefferson did what cowardly RINO Pence should have done. Have we leaned nothing from history.

    4..Nothing illegal about having an alternate set of electors ready if they prevailed on vote counts.

    • I agree completely. No one wanted to hear the evidence including the Supreme Court. There are mountains of evidence and I am extemely disappointed that California Political Review is too uninformed to see that!

  9. Former Poll Worker says

    Total BULL!!! The election WAS stolen – and CA is corrupt!!! PERIOD!!! END OF CRAPPY STORY!!!
    This state hasn’t had a legal election in a few years!!! I used to work the polls – but when everyone comes in voting one way at a poll and yet the count at the end says we were a different – I smell CRAP!!!!

  10. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    The next time an America First Patriot seeks legal help, the attorney might not want to take the case – even if it has nothing to do with politics. This is the leftist goal. How long before we are tossed onto cattle cars for the re-education camp?

  11. Judy Lamppu says

    I see many comments have already said what I’ve been thinking. It is outrageous that such a fabulous brilliant mind as Mr Eastman should be disbarred and the opinion expressed in the times of course is way to the left as they always are. I hope the Supreme Court does the right thing.

  12. Note to STAFF. Do your #$@!* homework!
    “Dr. Eastman has been invited several times to address various committees of Congress, on topics including President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration and the IRS’s felonious disclosure of tax returns.

    In the courtroom, Dr. Eastman has represented seventeen parties before the Supreme Court of the United States. He has also represented amici curiae in over 150 cases before the Supreme Court in cases such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014), Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell (2014), Harris v. Quinn (2014), National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (2014), National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012), Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000).

    Dr. Eastman has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, BBC World News, and PBS. His writings and commentary on the courts and the constitution have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Review,Economist, Atlantic, Slate, National Catholic Register, and ABA Journal.

    Dr. Eastman received his B.A. from the University of Dallas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate School. He completed his studies at the University of Chicago Law School, earning his J.D. in 1995.”

  13. JimNorCal says

    The election was stolen.
    Evidence was not not even examined, they just threw out court cases “you have no standing”.

  14. The US Constitution prohibits the goverment from colluding with media to unduly influence voters. The 2020 election was indeed stolen from President Trump. This article is the worst I have ever read on CPR.

  15. John McDonnell says

    Steve, you are now parroting the LA Times? Looking to become the new Drudge?

    • Exactly! I am not going to read this site if it’s moving to the left. I don’t need another leftist website!!!

  16. My take on why Steve posts these articles is so we can see what the enemy is up to. I appreciate that.

  17. I’m sooooo sick of the spin on these issues. Eastman SHOULD NOT be barred ! It’s brazen intimidation tactics!

  18. I thought this was a conservative site. Not so when you post hit pieces like this.

  19. A repeat unless you all stand up for the Republic. Election have consequences. Stolen elections have catastropic consequences.

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