A California State Bar Court judge on Thursday preliminarily found Trump’s lawyer John Eastman guilty of 11 counts of attempted moral and legal violations for allegedly conspiring to invalidate the 2020 presidential election.
After 32 days of testimony, Judge Yvette Roland made “preliminary findings of culpability,” saying the case “will move forward with not only rebuttal testimony but aggravation.”
On Thursday, Eastman asserted his First Amendment right to speak as a private citizen and not as Donald Trump’s lawyer in remarks he made at a rally before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The former Chapman University law professor when asked by Roland said that the evidence during the trial “only confirmed” his views that “illegally opened the door to fraud,” and that the vice president and Congress does not have the authority to resolve voter disputes.
Eastman maintained that the ballots were illegally counted and that actions taken by local election authorities without legislative authorization invalidated the election.
He testified that Vice President Mike Pence has the authority to delay the counting of election ballots as president of the Senate to allow states to resolve any disputes. That’s what Pence chief counsel Gregory F. Jacob and White House counsel Eric Herschmann argued about the vice president’s authority to reject electoral votes.
Closing arguments in the trial, in which the bar seeks to revoke Eastman’s license, are scheduled for Friday, with election officials also scheduled to testify.
Eastman did not rely on a useful or reliable method “for identifying the causal effect of anything” in comparing signature rejection rates on absentee ballots in Georgia, the rebuttal witness said. of Stanford University politics Justin Grimmer on Thursday.
Grimmer — a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution whose academic research primarily involves Congress, representation, and political process — testified in June that the analysis used in Eastman’s court filings relied on ” “ridiculous” assumptions and errors that have not led to changes in the law on how absentee ballot envelopes are designed.
Voters are returning ballots earlier than in previous years, Grimmer said. About 90% of the lower rejection rates can be attributed to the reduction of ballots that arrive after the deadline and rejections for the “oath envelope” sign.
Georgia is one of the swing states of Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan where the Trump campaign has challenged the voting practices as illegal.
Grimmer co-authored a National Academy of Sciences research article that reviewed statistical claims used to cast doubt on the 2020 election results. The researchers concluded that “none of them even far from convincing. The common logic behind these claims is that, if the elections were held fairly, some part of the observed election results in 2020 would be unlikely or impossible. In each case, we see that the alleged anomalous truth is neither true nor anomalous.”
Election professionals are expected to provide aggravating evidence in support of the bar. They include Jonathan Marks, Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary for elections and commissions, and Bo Dul, Arizona’s state director of elections.
During the aggravation phase the bar “intends to submit evidence of damages flowing from false claims that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen’ and caused by fraud that would determine the outcome, including harassment of specific election officials and undermine public confidence in election results and the legitimacy of democratic institutions.”
Eastman will get the retraction of the evidence Friday before the case is filed. The post-trial briefing is Nov. 22. Roland has 90 days to issue an appeal decision. The California Supreme Court makes the final decision on the admission and discipline of the attorney, including disbarment, suspension, or other forms of punishment.
The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel represents the bar. Miller Law Associates APC represents Eastman.