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Home / News / Politics / Trump attorney John Eastman seeks delay of disbarment hearings

Trump attorney John Eastman seeks delay of disbarment hearings

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Now that it appears former Chapman University law school dean John Eastman has been identified as “Co-Conspirator 2” in the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump for election fraud the attorney is seeking to have his State Bar Court disbarment proceedings suspended.

The disbarment proceedings began in June and were set to resume Aug. 22, but on Friday Eastman’s attorney filed a motion to suspend them for three months. The state Bar’s prosecutors are set to reply Aug. 16.

The state Bar is seeking to disbar Eastman for pushing “baseless legal theories” to stymie the certification of President Joe Biden’s election.

“A stay is warranted in the interests of justice, as recent developments in the investigation have renewed and intensified (Eastman’s) concerns that the federal government might bring charges against him and that he will therefore need to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self- incrimination in this proceeding,” attorney Randall Miller wrote in a motion.

Eastman was not named in the indictment, but special counsel Jack Smith identifies Eastman as “Co-Conspirator 2” by quoting from Eastman’s speech to the crowd on Jan. 6 that included some of the mob that attacked the Capitol as Congress was certifying Biden’s election.

“The indictment heightens the potential for (Eastman) to be charged as a criminal defendant,” Miller said. “Conspicuously, the charging document does not refer to the unnamed co-conspirators as ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ — a term commonly used to refer to a person who allegedly took part in a conspiracy to commit a crime, but who is not officially charged.

“This omission, among other things, raises the specter of a superseding indictment being handed up in the future naming one or more co-conspirators as additional defendants. Indeed, the issuance of superseding indictments that change the status of co-conspirators from ‘unindicted’ to ‘indicted’ is accepted practice.”

Miller argued that when “there are parallel criminal and civil proceedings, the defendant faces the difficult choice of asserting his Fifth Amendment right at the risk of losing a non-criminal trial (here, a disciplinary proceeding), or waiving his constitutional right against self-incrimination. Courts have recognized the need to stay civil proceedings to avoid prejudicing the defendant’s rights.”

Miller also said that a “criminal case receive precedence over this disciplinary proceeding.”

On Thursday, two days after the indictment was handed down, an interview Eastman did with Tom Klingenstein, chairman of the board of the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank, was posted on YouTube to delve into Eastman’s thoughts on the presidential election.

In the interview, Eastman insisted he was pushing for a delay in the certification of election and that he had a legitimate legal argument for why slates of alternate electors could be considered.

When Klingenstein asked Eastman about the potential for rioting if Biden’s election was overturned in favor of Trump, Eastman argued that the country should never bow to “mob rule… that’s the antithesis of the rule of law.”

Eastman said the country’s founders “lay this case out” in the Declaration of Independence that “at some point if the abuses become so intolerable that it’s not only their right, but their duty to abolish the existing government. And that is the question. Have the abuses become so intolerable that we have to be willing to push back.”

Eastman added, “Trying to stop an illegal election is not a coup.”

Multiple officials within the Trump administration, including then-U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, told Trump there was not enough fraud to affect the outcome of the election. Multiple lawsuits challenging the election results were also thrown out.

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