John Eastman, ex-Chapman Law dean and Trump attorney, will feel love at CAGOP convention – Orange County Register

A veritable love fest awaits John Eastman at the CAGOP convention in Burlingame this weekend.

Many righteous California Republicans are circling the wagons around Eastman — Chapman Law’s former dean and Donald Trump’s former lawyer — as he battles his disbarment over the 2020 election and accuses critics of “lawfare.”

Fans can indulge in a photo opportunity with Eastman on Friday, May 17 ($100 for an individual or couple, plus $25 for each extra body in the picture).

They can savor his words when he speaks at the Make California Great Again and Judeo-Christian Caucus events on Saturday, May 18, then headlines the Tea Party California Caucus Convention Dinner that night ($125 Early Bird special).

Delegates can also vote on a “RESOLUTION REGARDING JOHN EASTMAN AND THE CENSORING OF REPUBLICAN LAWYERS IN CALIFORNIA,” a move that’s a bit out-of-the-box.

“The CAGOP and the Resolutions Committee, as a rule, do not present these to the delegates before the Convention,” said an email to delegates. “As you may know, Attorney John Eastman has been named as a co-defendant with Donald Trump and 17 others in the Georgia RICO case charging a conspiracy to unlawfully overturn the 2020 presidential elections. In addition, a judge in a disciplinary trial before the California State Bar Court issued a ruling that John Eastman should be disbarred.

John Eastman (left) stood on stage at a rally in support of President Trump in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 while former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani spoke.JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
John Eastman (left) stood on stage at a rally in support of then-President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021 while former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani spoke. (File photo JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“What was John Eastman’s ‘crime’ — He provided legal advice and support to his client Donald Trump concerning the 2020 election. So we have a lawyer (a solid CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER who has practiced U.S. Constitutional law for a long career) being criminally charged for giving his advice to a client.

“So the left is now going after Eastman, and any other Conservative lawyer involved. They are ruining their careers, and their lives, attempting to destroy them, so that will intimidate any Conservative lawyers from ever representing Conservatives in these legal fights again. This is extremely dangerous to us all. None of us will ever have protected legal representation ever again. And this in fact is their aim.”

Also on the convention schedule are Lara Trump, Republican National Committee co-chair, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who killed, rather than trained, a problem-prone puppy. There will be sessions on election integrity, poll watching, ballot harvesting and curing, protecting Proposition 13 and local school board elections.


The Eastman resolution, which has the requisite number of “WHEREAS”-es and then some, cites Eastman’s doctorate in government from the Claremont Graduate School and his law degree from the University of Chicago, his clerkships with conservative superstars Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, his several runs for elected office and his lawsuits over abortion and immigration, as well as his efforts to find a legal path to Trump victory in 2020.

It doesn’t mention that Luttig has denounced the legal analysis Eastman gave Trump.

Or that Eastman lost those bids for elected office.

Or that many lawsuits filed over conservative agenda items tanked.

“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Republican Party urges (1) the State Bar of California Appeals Court to overturn the California State Bar Court Judge’s ruling against Mr. Eastman and (2) for the California State Bar to not interfere in any manner in the future with Mr. Eastman or other California lawyers ethical representation of Conservatives, Republicans or other Californians in various political, election law, religious freedom, right to life, liberty, immigration or similar matters throughout the State,” the text reads.

This resolution “is exactly right and on target” and should be adopted, the email urged delegates.

Of course, not all Republicans are Eastman fans. Framing an “attack” on Eastman as an attack on all Republican attorneys seems like a rather broad stroke. And the insistence on personal responsibility for one’s actions — long a hallmark of conservatism, as we understand it — seems to be missing here. Instead, there’s righteous victimhood.

Countering Eastman

“The only responsibility and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the electoral college votes as they have been cast,” tweeted Luttig, the aforementioned revered conservative legal scholar, on Jan. 5, 2021 (because he was unsure how else to publicly counter Eastman’s advice to Trump).

“The Constitution does not empower the Vice President to alter in any way the votes that have been cast, either by rejecting certain of them or otherwise. How the Vice President discharges this constitutional obligation is not a question of his loyalty to the President …. Neither the President nor the Vice President has any higher loyalty than to the Constitution.”

Later, before the Jan. 6 committee, Luttig’s words were slow but stunning. “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy,” he said, noting that they tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election and fearing they might succeed in 2024.

Republicans closer to home are quite critical of Eastman’s conduct in the 2020 election as well. Laguna Niguel attorney James V. Lacy has said that Trump would be better off if he had never met John Eastman.

“This Republican beef is really about the State Bar leaning heavily left on policy matters, like supporting legislation we oppose, or unfairly giving conservative candidates for judicial positions lower ratings than their liberal opponents,” Lacy said in an email. “There is real evidence in this regard, and I agree with that complaint.

“But there is no evidence at all that the Bar’s discipline system is also biased politically, and that is the big flaw in the Resolution. So the Resolution effort misses the point of Eastman being accountable for his own misconduct and shrouds and minimizes it, almost condones it, on a false premise. Eastman got a fair trial, and the Judge who disbarred him wrote a detailed 128-page decision supporting it after months of reviewing evidence and testimony.

“John’s bald-faced factual misrepresentation at the volatile 1/6/21 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, that there were ‘secret folders’ in the Dominion voting machines that changed votes from Trump to Biden, was a falsehood, and just this one act of misconduct justifies the discipline he received. But that is a point that won’t be put before the party delegates this weekend.”

One thing seems certain: Eastman’s “Legal Defense Fund” at GiveSendGo will climb from $856,078 toward its goal of $1.5 million. Contributors there continue to employ the language of holy war.

“Father God in Heaven, I pray you will destroy the evil injustice against the righteous in America who are fighting the good fight to save our Republic from evil,” wrote someone identified as Bill Bailey Antrim County, who donated $25 on Monday. “That you will stop the injustice and deliver Your true justice through the wells of congress, every legislature, every AG office, every court room, and every part of our government that is corrupt and evil. I ask and pray in Jesus name.”

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