Legal experts make a compelling case for investigation of Trump's 'coup memo' attorney

Legal experts make a compelling case for investigation of Trump's 'coup memo' attorney
John C. Eastman, image via Wikimedia Commons.

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In a column for the Sacramento Bee, impeachment adviser Norm Eisen and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftregut made a case for the California Bar to investigate and possibly disbar the attorney behind the so-called "coup memo" intended to subvert the 2020 presidential election results.

According to the two attorney's, John Eastman's proposal that vice president Mike Pence block the certification of the election is deserving of a thorough review despite the fact that he is now trying to walk back the importance of the memo that set off a battle in the White House among Trump advisers.

"It's an understandable tactic given an Oct. 4 California bar disciplinary complaint seeking an investigation of Eastman's conduct as legal point man in Trump's last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election," the two wrote in reference to the complaint signed by "...five former judges of the California Supreme Court and federal trial courts and by leading scholars."

Explaining what is in the memo and how Eastman is launching a counteroffensive to dismiss it as a simple exercise questioning the limits of the law, the two attorneys claim an investigation is needed despite Eastman's protestations.

"Eastman's recent and shifting accounts of his conduct in a matter in which his honesty is a central issue confirm the need for factual investigation," they wrote. "But even if such an investigation were to sustain Eastman's revisionist claims, discipline would still be warranted, both because of the lack of legal support for them and because the election was no longer 'contested' in any meaningful sense. By Jan, 6, numerous courts had rejected Trump's claims of fraud and illegality."

Stating the memo "given the tight timing and sensitivity of the transition of power... likely would have spelled chaos," Eisen and Aftergut said there is no reason to let Trump's attorney slide.

"Conduct by a lawyer that appears to have involved repeated dishonesty and bad faith, contributed to the terrible events of Jan. 6, and threatened even graver harms to our constitutional democracy must be investigated by the California bar," they concluded.

You can read the entire case they made here.

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