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An attorney discipline judge in California has recommended the disbarment of ex-Trump election lawyer John Eastman, with the court’s decision involuntarily revoking his license. This recommendation follows a lengthy trial regarding Eastman’s actions in leading efforts for Donald Trump to challenge his 2020 election loss. The recommendation now goes to the California Supreme Court for a final decision. Judge Yvette Roland’s opinion highlights Eastman’s failure to uphold honesty and ethical obligations by presenting falsehoods to support his legal arguments, showing gross negligence by making false statements without meaningful investigation.

The judge also rejected Eastman’s arguments that he believed lies about election fraud were true, stating that he cannot avoid culpability through willful blindness. This decision has significant implications for lawyers who promoted false theories of election fraud on behalf of Trump. It marks a step towards holding accountable those who spread misinformation and false claims regarding the 2020 election. Eastman’s attorney maintains that he worked as he should have on legal issues following the election and criticized the immediate revocation of his law license, especially as he faces criminal charges in Georgia related to his election work.

Eastman was accused by the State Bar of California of conspiring with Trump to disrupt the transfer of power, knowing there was no valid legal theory to block Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory. The judge found that Eastman’s plan for Vice President Mike Pence to overturn Biden’s victory lacked legitimacy and was designed to convince Pence to carry out the strategy. The disciplinary trial featured numerous witnesses and evidence detailing how Eastman misled others through various actions like submitting fake electors to Congress and making false claims during court proceedings and speeches.

The judge’s 128-page opinion thoroughly debunks problematic claims made by Eastman regarding voting in court filings for Trump after the election. The lack of remorse on Eastman’s part contributed to the decision to revoke his law license, along with a recommended fine of $10,000. While Eastman’s false statements did not directly contribute to the Capitol assault, the decision serves as a significant accountability milestone for lawyers who worked on Trump’s behalf in challenging the 2020 election results. The Justice Department has also taken an interest in the case, requesting transcripts from the bar proceeding.

Eastman’s bar findings are separate from the criminal charges he faces in Georgia, where he is accused of participating in a 2020 election racketeering conspiracy led by Trump. If disbarred in California, this would impact his ability to practice law across other states as well. Other Trump election lawyers, such as Jeffrey Clark and Rudy Giuliani, are also facing disciplinary charges in various jurisdictions. Clark is undergoing a disciplinary proceeding in Washington, DC, with witnesses testifying against him, while Giuliani’s law license is currently suspended, pending a potential permanent revocation. The scrutiny faced by these lawyers marks a broader examination of the legal strategies pursued on behalf of Trump following the 2020 election.

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