Former Trump attorney John Eastman, author of the infamous coup memo, is currently on trial before the California State Bar which seeks to have him disbarred for numerous ethical violations related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
This week two days of the hearing were canceled due to his own lawyer’s illness, which gave Eastman time to give an interviews to a pair of election deniers, Steve Bannon and David Clements.
On June 26 Eastman spoke with Clements, who, like Eastman, has lost his teaching position. Clements shares Eastman’s election denialism, but New Mexico State University fired him over his refusal to get vaccinated or wear a mask while teaching. Clements went so far as to characterize the CA State Bar trial as “kangaroo court,” a term that Eastman did not affirm.
“Clements: These disciplinary hearings, they don’t necessarily have the same due process safeguards, right? It’s more of a kind of a kangaroo court.”
Eastman: “I would never say that the court is a kangaroo court, particularly when I’m pending before it. I will say this: in bar court, the rules are a little bit relaxed. The rules of evidence are relaxed. They’re allowed to admit hearsay, which in normal courts is expressly forbidden, given, except for certain well-defined exceptions. The problem with hearsay is anybody can say what they want. And if that builds the record against you — even though it’s hearsay and you don’t have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness — your right to confront witnesses against you, guaranteed by the Constitution, is gone. And we’ve got lots of hearsay already put in. So I think it’s a problem.”
Clements was guest hosting on Colorado conspiracist Joe Oltmann’s podcast. The full interview is available here and the clip above begins at 30:10. Eastman has listed Oltmann, who has called for elected officials to be hanged, as a witness he plans to call in his defense during his trial.
Yesterday Eastman spoke with former Trump advisot Steve Bannon. He told Bannon he’s “fighting for his professional life,” because Democrats orchestrated the complaints against him and all of Trump’s other lawyers in order to “keep us on our heels so we can’t be ramped up in time for the 2024 election.”
“The Democrats are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lawfare. They’re doing it in two ways. They’re on offense in the state courts trying to alter election laws that they don’t like: weakening signature verification to open the door for fraud; getting rid of voter ID requirements. If the legislatures don’t comply with their demands and pressure, they’ll try to get friendly courts to do so and in many cases they will find them.
“They’re also on offense keeping the rest of us on defense. That’s the larger story of my bar trial, the 65 Project’s seeking to disbar all of the Trump lawyers to keep us on our heels so we can’t be ramped up in time for the 2024 election because we’re fighting for our our professional lives.”
Eastman faces 11 charges that he violated Business and Professions Code section 6106 by making false and misleading statements that constitute acts of “moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption.”
All of the charges stem from “allegations that Eastman engaged in a course of conduct to plan, promote, and assist then-President Trump in executing a strategy, unsupported by facts or law, to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by obstructing the count of electoral votes of certain states,” according to the the CA Bar Association Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona.
Eastman also lamented the cost of his legal defense and asked for donations to offset his expenses. His online donation pagehad been adding a few thousand dollars per month steady after an initial surge when he launched it in late 2021. He’s raised almost $65,000 in the past week since his trial began, half of that in the past 24 hours.
The @cologop is raising money to hire coup attorney John Eastman to overturn Colorado’s open primary law. Meanwhile, he’s raised over $32k *in the past week* for his own law license defense, for a total of … $418k. #copolitics pic.twitter.com/TXwZM937uI
— Erik Maulbetsch (@emaulbetsch) June 27, 2023
Losing his license would prevent Eastman from again representing the Colorado Republican Party in its second attempt to overturn the state’s open primary law. The party is currently raising money specifically for a legal fund to pay Eastman.
His past and future work on behalf of the state GOP isn’t Eastman’s only Colorado connection. He was teaching at the University of Colorado’s Benson Center for the 2020-2021 academic year, during which he was also counseling President Trump on overturning the election. Eastman was also discussing election fraud conspiracies with prominent Republican Earl Wright, who in addition to advising the Benson Center founded the Common Sense Institute, a conservative-leaning policy shop.
Eastman’s trial, initially expected to end this week, will now stretch until mid-August, due to various parties’ scheduling conflicts.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated incorrectly that David Clements had been fired from his NMSU professorship for his election denialism. He was fired for his refusal to follow the university’s COVID policies. The Colorado Times Recorder regrets the error.