By Andrew Goudsward
(Reuters) -California attorney regulators said on Thursday they will seek to disbar attorney John Eastman over his involvement in former U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
The State Bar of California charged Eastman, a former personal lawyer to Trump, with 11 counts of ethics violations, including misleading courts and making false public statements about voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Eastman participated in a strategy “unsupported by facts or law” to obstruct the count of presidential electors in Congress following Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory, the bar’s complaint said.
George Cardona, the bar’s chief trial counsel, said his office will ask a court to revoke Eastman’s law license.
An attorney for Eastman, Randall Miller, disputed the allegations on Thursday, saying it was Eastman’s responsibility as a lawyer to provide Trump with a range of legal options to contest the election results.
Eastman, a former law professor at Chapman University in California, drafted legal memos suggesting then-Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to accept electoral votes from several swing states when Congress convened to certify the 2020 vote count. Pence rebuffed his arguments, saying he did not have legal authority.
Eastman also represented Trump in a long-shot lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to invalidate votes in four states where Trump had falsely claimed evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Eastman repeated many of those claims at a rally outside the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, after which a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and delayed the congressional certification of the election.
A state bar court will weigh the charges against Eastman and recommend any discipline. The California Supreme Court would need to approve disbarring or suspending Eastman.
(Reporting by Andrew GoudswardEditing by David Bario and Lincoln Feast)