Former Chapman University Law School dean John Eastman surrendered to authorities in Fulton County, Georgia, Tuesday in response to his election-fraud indictment along with former President Donald Trump and 17 other defendants.
Eastman was booked and released on $100,000 bond. An arraignment date has not yet been set for Eastman in connection with the indictment, which accuses the defendants of illegally plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Speaking to reporters outside court, Eastman remained defiant, saying he fully expects to be vindicated. Asked if he still believes the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump, he flatly replied, “Absolutely, no question.”
Eastman’s attorney, Charles Burnham, said in a statement last week that Georgia prosecutors were attempting to criminalize “lawful political speech.”
“It goes hand-in-glove with the recent effort to criminalize lawful political speech and legal advice, in stark violation of constitutional rights to freedom of speech, right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and the right to counsel,” he said.
“Lawyers everywhere should be sleepless over this latest stunt to criminalize their advocacy. This is a legal cluster-bomb that leaves unexploded (ordnance) for lawyers to navigate in perpetuity. Dr. Eastman will challenge this indictment in any and all forums available to him.”
Eastman, who is charged with nine criminal counts, is accused of participating in an alleged scheme to have an alternate slate of electors from Georgia, favorable to Trump, represent the state in the Electoral College after Joe Biden won the state, which was key to his victory.
Eastman is charged with violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, conspiracy to commit filing false documents, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, and filing false documents.
He is also facing disciplinary charges and possible disbarment from the California State Bar, meaning he would no longer be able to practice law in the state. His disciplinary hearing had been scheduled to resume Tuesday, but the proceedings were put on hold while Eastman traveled to Georgia to surrender on the criminal indictment.
The State Bar hearing is set to resume Thursday.