The State Bar of California confirmed on Tuesday that it has been investigating John Eastman, an attorney for former President Trump, for possible ethics violations related to the 2020 election.
The announcement from George Cardona, the state bar’s chief trial counsel, noted that details of the investigation were to remain confidential in order “to give the investigation the greatest chance of success.”
“A number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct,” Cardona said.
“We will be proceeding with a single State Bar investigation in which we will continue to gather and analyze relevant evidence and go wherever it leads us,” he added.
“As was his duty as an attorney, Dr. Eastman zealously represented his client, comprehensively exploring legal and constitutional means to advance his client’s interests,” a spokesperson for Eastman said in a statement to The Hill.
“Subsequent to that representation, he also sought to protect his client’s privileged communications ‘at every peril to himself,’” the spokesperson added. “Dr. Eastman expects the Bar’s investigation into these matters will fully exonerate him from any charges.”
In October, a bipartisan group of legal minds and former officials asked that the California bar investigate Eastman to determine if he “violated his ethical obligations as an attorney by filing frivolous claims, making false statements, and engaging in deceptive conduct.”
During the “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Eastman, the former dean of the law school at California’s Chapman University, made a speech and took the lead on two memos detailing why then-Vice President Mike Pence could change the election’s outcome.
However, Pence, whose role was largely ceremonial, had no power to stop the Electoral College count by Congress and has since called the idea of overturning the election results “un-American.”
In a previous interview with The Washington Post, Eastman said he laid out options for the White House and was using the right to petition “the government for redress of grievances.”
“One of the grievances was that nothing was being done about acknowledged illegality in the conduct of an election — asserting a constitutional right is not a disbarrable offense,” Eastman said at the time.