Former Trump lawyer John Eastman was on the payroll of the University of Colorado (CU) when he formally became a Trump lawyer and then wrote a widely discredited memo on how Trump could subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Politico revealed this week that Eastman apparently formalized his legal relationship with Trump on Dec. 5, 2020, in an unsigned engagement letter, about five months before his appointment as a visiting scholar at CU’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization expired. The Benson Center is a privately endowed institute at CU, named after former CU Chancellor Bruce Benson, a prominent Colorado Republican.
Eastman worked as a volunteer under his agreement with Trump but he was still receiving his $185,000 salary from CU through May 7, 2021.
In early Jan. 2021, the university relieved Eastman of his teaching duties, due to insufficient enrollment in his classes, and on Jan. 21, 2021, he was banned from speaking at the university or performing outreach, but he still had the green light to “perform scholarship” involving “research and related activities,” according to CU statements cited in media reports.
Eastman’s press contact at the Claremont Institute didn’t return an email seeking answers to these questions: Was anyone at CU aware of his agreement with Trump at the time? Did anyone at CU suggest he not sign the agreement? Did he check with anyone at CU before he drafted the agreement?
During his tenure at CU, Eastman received praise from at least one notable CU leader, GOP Regent and gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, who called him “fantastic.”