Right-wing lawyer John Eastman, a key player in former President Donald Trump’s effort to cling on to power, on Thursday was reportedly found culpable of trying to overturn the 2020 election by a California State Bar court.
The preliminary ruling issued by State Bar Court Judge Yvette Roland on day 32 of the trial came after Eastman finished testifying and allowed the proceeding to move ahead to the next stage with other witnesses, according to Law.com.
While Roland’s move does not mean Eastman will be convicted, it suggests the former Trump attorney has reason to be concerned, the outlet said.
Eastman, who has vehemently denied the charges, reportedly continued to insist there were irregularities in the 2020 presidential race, even though there is no evidence to support his claims.
Following Trump’s defeat in the race, Eastman wrote a two-page memo asserting that then-Vice President Mike Pence could block Biden’s win by obstructing the Joint Session of Congress meant to certify the result.
The office of the state bar’s chief trial counsel said Eastman relied on lies to promote this legal strategy, acting in a way that demonstrates “moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption” in the notice of disciplinary charges filed in January.
During his testimony, Law.com reported Eastman claimed that he was acting as a citizen requesting on behalf of GOP lawmakers and not advising Mike Pence.
Former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers had also testified before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that Eastman had pressured him to hold a vote with the purpose of decertifying the state’s slate of electors, even though Biden won the state.
Eastman was admitted to the California bar in 1997.
The lawyer also faces nine charges over his efforts to undo the 2020 election result in Georgia. He has pleaded not guilty.
At least four of his co-defendants in the case, three of which were former attorneys for Trump, have reached plea deals with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office.
Eastman is also reportedly one of the six co-conspirators referenced in Trump’s indictment in his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C.