“(Eastman) was acutely aware that he was potentially exposed to crime for his actions surrounding the 2020 election, which are also the subject of (state bar charges),” Roland wrote in a decision of 10 pages. “Yet the defendant gave considerable testimony without ever invoking the Fifth Amendment and did not seek a reduction until six days into the trial. »
It’s the latest setback for Eastman as he fights to keep his lawyer’s license while facing criminal charges in Georgia for his role in an alleged racketeering conspiracy with Trump and 17 other co-defendants.
Eastman was a central figure in Trump’s latest bid to overturn the 2020 election. He helped lobby state legislatures to consider naming alternative voter slates that were later used to stoke controversy on Jan. 6, 2021. When neither state legislature agreed, Eastman instead pointed to the existence of uncertified lists of pro-Trump activists who claimed to be voters. Eastman directly lobbied then-Vice President Mike Pence to acknowledge these fake voter rolls to fuel a controversy on January 6, 2021.
Although Eastman’s delisting process began in June, it was postponed until late August due to scheduled disputes. In the meantime, Special Counsel Jack Smith has issued a four-count indictment against Trump, alleging multiple conspiracies to overthrow the 2020 election. In the indictment, Eastman was described , although not named, as an alleged co-conspirator in this effort, suggesting that charges could be brought against him.
Even before Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis indicted Eastman in Georgia, the attorney decided to postpone the rest of his bar proceedings, saying his criminal exposure had grown greater in light of the case of Smith. Willis’ accusations only added to his urgency to delay disbarment proceedings.
But state bar officials denied his request, saying Eastman knew seven months ago — when the bar charges against him were filed — that he could face criminal charges. The matter was discussed during pretrial proceedings, and Eastman opted to continue the proceedings at the state bar anyway. He appeared in court for several days in June, but his testimony was not yet complete when proceedings were adjourned until this week.
It’s unclear whether Eastman will appeal Roland’s decision or whether he will speak out and attempt to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in response to additional questions. He was present in the courtroom as his proceedings resumed this week with testimony from witnesses called by state bar investigators.