Trump attorney John Eastman facing California State Bar investigation

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Lawyer John Eastman gestures as he speaks next to US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as Trump supporters rally ahead of the president’s speech to challenge certification by the US Congress of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results on the Ellipse in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

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  • Eastman’s Advanced Theory Voters Could Be Rejected For Denying Biden Victory
  • Was a speaker at the Trump rally before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol

(Reuters) – Regulators for California prosecutors said on Tuesday they were investigating John Eastman, who represented former President Donald Trump in a long-running lawsuit to overturn voting results in four states that Trump lost in the 2020 elections.

Eastman, a former Chapman University law professor, represented Trump in the U.S. Supreme Court as the High Court considered a lawsuit brought by Texas and 16 other U.S. states seeking to strike down the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The high court dismissed the lawsuit in December 2020.

George Cardona, senior attorney for the State Bar of California, said in a statement that the investigation focused on whether Eastman violated California ethics law and rules “following and in relation to the presidential election of November 2020”. Cardona said no disciplinary charges have yet been filed.

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“A number of individuals and entities have brought to the attention of the State Bar news articles, court documents and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct,” Cardona said.

Los Angeles attorney Randall Miller, who is representing Eastman in the state bar case, said he expects to be exonerated. Eastman “represented his client diligently, thoroughly exploring legal and constitutional means to advance his client’s interests,” Miller said.

It is rare for a state disciplinary authority to confirm the existence of an ethics investigation, according to experts.

“In most states, before any formal proceedings are pursued, matters are handled confidentially” by disciplinary officials, said Brian Faughnan, Memphis-based shareholder of the Lewis Thomason law firm.

Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said Tuesday’s disclosure shows that California bar officials “believe it is in the public interest to know that they have received all the complaints and that they take them seriously”.

Eastman spoke at the Trump rally held near the White House shortly before crowds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, which saw rioters battle police at the inside and outside the Capitol and sent lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence into hiding.

In legal memos, Eastman put forward the theory that Pence could reject voters in some states to deny Democrat Joe Biden a majority of Electoral College votes.

(NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from a lawyer for John Eastman.)

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