Ethics Complaint: Update

California Bar Agrees to
Investigate John Eastman

June 28, 2021

March 3, 2022

Editorial credit: Fox News

In December, LDAD filed an ethics complaint against John Eastman, an attorney for Donald Trump who, alongside Rudolph Giuliani and former Department of Justice lawyer Jeffrey C. Clark, actively engaged in efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.  

This week, the State Bar of California’s Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona announced that the office is undertaking an investigation.

The announcement stated that the investigation is “focused on whether Eastman engaged in conduct in violation of California law and ethics rules governing attorneys following and in relation to the November 2020 presidential election.” Importantly, the announcement acknowledged the significance of publicly available information that was brought to the attention of the Chief Trial Counsel.

“We’re pleased that the State Bar took seriously the ethics violations that we and others have raised against Mr. Eastman, and we are proud that our complaint supported and expanded upon the complaint against Mr. Eastman filed in November by States United Democracy Center,” says the principal author of the complaint, James McHugh, a former Massachusetts Appeals Court Judge. “After its investigation, if the State Bar finds that the allegations set forth are valid, Mr. Eastman should be severely sanctioned for his extreme misconduct,” he continued.

Scott Harshbarger, a former two-time Attorney General of Massachusetts and co-founder of LDAD, noted the ongoing work that remains, “Today was a positive step, however the ongoing efforts to promote the Big Lie of election fraud poses an ever-increasing threat to our democracy by eroding public confidence in our electoral process. We must continue to demand accountability for those lawyers who have violated their oath. Each day of silence brings more damage to our democracy.”

The complaint against Mr. Eastman followed previous ethics complaints LDAD has lodged against former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (whose license to practice law was suspended in June), former Attorney General William Barr, Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton, and Former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark for legal ethics violations.



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