John Eastman: Group urges California bar to investigate pro-Trump lawyer who tried to convince Pence to call off election
“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 filing frivolous claims,” by making false statements and engaging in deceptive behavior, “the letter reads.
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 in 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 overturn 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, “states in part the letter.
“This determination … is for the California State Bar,” Eisen, who served as former President Barack Obama’s ethics czar and 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 has played a leading role in that regard,” he added. “And we believe that his statements of fact and law which have been facilitated by his law degree and his legal status 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.