A judge recommended on Wednesday that John Eastman, a co-defendant of former President Donald Trump in the Georgia election interference case, be disbarred in California. Judge Yvette D. Roland of the State Bar Court’s Hearing Department in Los Angeles found that the State Bar of California’s chief trial counsel’s office had proven a vast majority of its allegations against Eastman. Eastman faced 11 disciplinary charges related to the promotion of a strategy that was not supported by facts or law, which involved a plan to have then-Vice President Mike Pence reject electoral votes for Joe Biden during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. The judge found Eastman culpable for 10 of the charges, including misleading a court, making false statements, and failing to support the Constitution. However, one count of moral turpitude related to comments made by Eastman at the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021, was dismissed as the chief counsel’s office failed to show that the statements contributed to the assault on the Capitol.

Eastman’s attorney, Randall Miller, defended his client’s handling of legal matters following the 2020 election, stating that Eastman’s actions were based on reliable legal precedent, research of constitutional text, and scholarly material. Miller emphasized that lawyers are ethically bound to be zealous advocates for their clients and that Eastman followed the same process as lawyers do every day. The judge ordered that Eastman be placed on “involuntary inactive status,” meaning he is prohibited from practicing law in California while his case is reviewed by the Supreme Court. Eastman’s inactive status will take effect three days after the order is served. His legal team expressed confidence that the State Bar’s Review Court will swiftly provide a remedy in his case.

The State Bar launched an ethics investigation into Eastman’s conduct in March 2022 and requested last year to revoke his license to practice law in California. Eastman also faces legal challenges stemming from his activities after the 2020 election. In August, he was charged with orchestrating a fake electors scheme aimed at keeping Trump in office after the election, along with 18 other defendants. He was accused of violating Georgia’s racketeering laws and has pleaded not guilty, similar to Trump and some others involved in the case. Four defendants have pleaded guilty so far, but Eastman continues to maintain his innocence.

Eastman’s involvement in promoting the strategy to have Pence reject electoral votes for Biden during the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021, has led to his disciplinary action and potential disbarment in California. The judge in the case found him guilty of multiple charges related to misleading a court, making false statements, and failing to uphold the Constitution. Despite his attorney’s defense of his actions as being based on legal precedent and scholarly research, Eastman was still recommended for disbarment. His legal team remains hopeful that the State Bar’s Review Court will provide a remedy in his case promptly.

The decision to place Eastman on “involuntary inactive status” means that he cannot practice law in California until his case is reviewed by the Supreme Court. Eastman’s legal team is confident in the outcome of the Review Court’s decision regarding his disbarment. Furthermore, Eastman is facing additional legal challenges in relation to his involvement in the fake electors scheme and violation of racketeering laws in Georgia after the 2020 election. While some co-defendants have pleaded guilty, Eastman stands by his plea of not guilty, along with former President Trump, as they continue to fight the charges against them.

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