Former Trump Attorney, John Eastman, Due in Arizona Court for 2020 Fake Electors Scheme

Attorney John Eastman is one of 18 allies of President Trump facing criminal charges in Arizona.

AP/Susan Walsh, file
A Chapman School of Law professor, John Eastman, on Capitol Hill, March 16, 2017. AP/Susan Walsh, file

A former attorney for President Trump, John Eastman, is set to be arraigned in Arizona on Friday for his role in the fake electors scheme in the state, even as he pushes his own theories about the 2020 election.

In April, the Arizona attorney general’s office issued an indictment accusing Mr. Eastman of conspiracy, fraud, and forgery. Mr. Eastman’s attorney, Charles Burnham, maintains that Mr. Eastman is innocent.

Mr. Eastman also faces charges of racketeering and conspiracy in Georgia and is named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal case concerning efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election.

In Arizona, the charges against Mr. Eastman stem from a plot to nominate a slate of 11 electors who met in December 2020 and signed a certificate claiming to be the “duly elected and qualified” electors for the state and that Mr. Trump won the state in 2020.

In total, 18 people have been charged for their role in the scheme, including the 11 Republicans posing as electors, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and a former attorney for Mr. Trump, Rudy Giuliani.

Despite the charges against Mr. Eastman and the lack of evidence to support his claims that the 2020 election was illegitimate, Mr. Eastman reaffirmed his position as recently as last week, when he delivered a winding speech touching on his own theories about the 2020 election in Michigan.

“I’m an indicted co-conspirator no. 2 in DC. I’m indicted, co-conspirator no. 3 in Georgia,” Mr. Eastman said, according to a transcript by the Gateway Pundit. “And last week, I got indicted in Arizona. I had zero communications with the electors in Arizona. I had zero involvement with the election challenges in Arizona.”

In the broader push to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Mr. Eastman served as an architect and was tasked with crafting legal theories to support post-election challenges as early as September 2020.

Mr. Eastman, for instance, attempted to convince Vice President Pence that he could unilaterally refuse to count some of the state elections won by President Biden. The delay was allegedly supposed to create time for state legislators to attempt to reverse Mr. Trump’s loss.

So far, Arizona is one of four states — along with Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan — where charges have been filed against Mr. Trump’s allies for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Authorities have so far declined to bring charges in Pennsylvania and New Mexico and the investigation in Wisconsin is ongoing.

Mr. Eastman has faced scrutiny for his role in Mr. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election elsewhere as well, most prominently in California, where a judge has recommended disbarring Mr. Eastman.

Judge Yvette Roland recommended disbarring Mr. Eastman in March after months of arguments over his support for fringe legal theories relating to the 2020 election. 

“Given the serious and extensive nature of Eastman’s unethical actions, the most severe available professional sanction is warranted to protect the public and preserve the public confidence in the legal system,” Judge Roland ruled.

In California, Mr. Eastman will be unable to practice law while he appeals the decision. Mr. Eastman’s legal license has also been suspended at Washington, D.C.


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