Orange County attorney John Eastman is at the center of an ethics investigation into whether he violated laws while advising President Trump on how he could overturn his election defeat in 2020, the State Bar of California said Tuesday.
Eastman, a former law professor and retired dean at Chapman University, emerged as a key legal advisor to Trump in the weeks after it was apparent he had lost the election to Joe Biden. Eastman wrote two legal memos that advised Vice President Mike Pence he could determine the results in several states were disputed and therefore their electoral votes would go uncounted. Doing so would have reversed Trump’s loss.
The State Bar’s chief trial counsel, George Cardona, announced Tuesday that Eastman has been the center of an investigation since September.
“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 in a statement.
“We want to thank those who took the time to bring to our attention this information, which serves as the starting point for our investigation. 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.”
Eastman was not immediately available for comment Tuesday. The phone number listed for his law practice in Anaheim was busy.
This is a developing story and will be updated with additional information.