Judge denies ex-Trump election lawyer John Eastman’s request to reactivate law license while he fights disbarment

An attorney discipline judge in California has rejected a request from ex-Trump election lawyer John Eastman to reactivate his law license following her recent recommendation that he be disbarred, which rendered him unable to practice law for now.

Eastman, who devised a multi-step plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election and was part of the effort to appoint fake electors in several states, wants to keep practicing law so he can represent clients and pay his own legal bills as he fights criminal charges stemming from the 2020 election efforts.

Judge Yvette Roland, who oversees state bar proceedings in California, recommended in March that Eastman be disbarred for his election subversion efforts. His license was immediately revoked while the ethics proceedings continue.

The California Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether to endorse or reject Roland’s recommendation to disbar Eastman.

Still, Roland’s March opinion marked a major step in the consequences for lawyers who propelled false theories of election fraud on former President Donald Trump’s behalf.

“Eastman failed to uphold his primary duty of honesty and breached his ethical obligations by presenting falsehoods to bolster his legal arguments,” Roland wrote in her opinion recommending he be disbarred. “In sum, Eastman exhibited gross negligence by making false statements about the 2020 election without conducting any meaningful investigation or verification of the information he was relying upon.”

In his plea to Roland to reactivate his law license while he fights disbarment, Eastman said he needed to be able to represent Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene in a political speech fight and pay his own legal bills.

But Roland, in rejecting Eastman’s request on Wednesday, wrote in her decision that he “fails to demonstrate that he no longer presents a threat to the public.”

Roland wrote that she “found that disbarment was the appropriate sanction for Eastman’s misconduct in part to safeguard the public. The court’s decision determined that Eastman made deceptive and misleading claims in legal documents, public forums, and other contexts concerning the 2020 presidential election and the extent of Vice President Michael R. Pence’s authority to override the electoral process.”

Politico first reported Roland’s decision.

Eastman is charged alongside Trump and others in the Georgia election subversion case. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

He also was indicted last month in Arizona in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election, along with more than a dozen other Trump allies, including Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani.

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