Bloomberg Law
Dec. 16, 2021, 6:17 PM

Trump Lawyer Eastman Should Be Sanctioned, 1,200 Attorneys Say

Melissa Heelan
Melissa Heelan

A lawyers’ group has filed the third ethics complaint against Trump lawyer John Eastman with the California bar, alleging misconduct when he colluded with others in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and keep Donald Trump in office for a second term.

John Eastman “appears to have acted in concert with other attorneys, notably Rudolph W. Giuliani and Jeffrey C. Clark, in an effort to install Mr. Trump in the office of President of the United States for another four years notwithstanding the irrefutable fact that the people of the United States had chosen Joseph R. Biden to replace him,” the Dec. 16 complaint filed by Lawyers Defending American Democracy said.

More than 1,200 attorneys have signed the complaint. LDAD says on its website that it was formed in 2018 to “defend and uphold the rule of law.”

Eastman, a former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is the latest in a string of attorneys including Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood who have had complaints filed against them for perpetrating falsehoods about the results of the 2020 election.

The complaint says that Eastman embarked on a “fact-free” crusade to convince Vice President Michael Pence to ignore certain electoral votes in Biden’s favor and call the election for Trump.

Eastman also spoke along with Giuliani to a crowd on Jan. 6 before the storming of the U.S. Capitol, alleging that there had been election fraud. “We know there was fraud. Traditional fraud that occurred. We know that dead people voted,” the complaint says, quoting from Eastman’s speech.

By making these unfounded accusations, Eastman used the “fragility” of the rule of law “to alter the results of a free election,” which is “among the most serious violations of the rules of professional responsibility one can imagine,” the complaint says.

Giuliani has been temporarily suspended in New York and the District of Columbia for making false statements in court about the 2020 election.

A complaint was filed with the District of Columbia bar against former DOJ lawyer Clark in October for trying to get the Justice Department to overturn election results in several states without evidence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at; John Crawley at