Judge rules John Eastman should lose law license over efforts to overturn 2020 election

John Eastman

LOS ANGELES — A California judge on Wednesday recommended that attorney John Eastman should be disbarred in the state because of his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

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State Bar Court Judge Yvette Roland’s recommendation that Eastman, 63, should lose his license to practice law in California will go the state’s Supreme Court, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Eastman helped craft Trump’s legal strategy to overturn the results of the 2020 election, when the former president was defeated by Joe Biden, according to the newspaper.

Roland’s ruling can be appealed by Eastman in the state’s highest court, The Associated Press reported.

Eastman’s attorney, Randall A. Miller, wrote in an email to the news organization that he and his client were “digesting the decision” and would have a more complete statement on the judge’s decision later.

The ruling comes after a trial that lasted more than a month and ended in November, The Hill reported. Eastman was found preliminarily culpable, a judge ruled.

The State Bar, the agency that regulates attorneys, argued that Eastman was unfit to keep his license in California because he advanced false claims that fraud caused Trump’s defeat, while later promoting a fake-elector scheme to block the count in the Electoral College, the Times reported.

Eastman’s misconduct “strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a lawyer -- he misused his license in a grave and injurious manner designed to undermine our democracy,” the bar argued.

Eastman claimed he was acting in good faith, and as a vigorous champion of his client, according to the newspaper.

Eastman wrote a memo laying out a plan for Vice President Mike Pence to reject legitimate electoral votes for Biden while presiding over the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, according to the AP.

“In view of the circumstances surrounding Eastman’s misconduct and balancing the aggravation and mitigation, the court recommends that Eastman be disbarred,” Roland wrote in her decision.

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