The heroic sacrifice of John Eastman

An open letter from Eastman’s children and a call to action.

Tucker Carlson hosted Dr. John Eastman on Fox News on June 27, 2022, shortly after the FBI unlawfully seized Eastman’s phone, which contained attorney-client privileged information. After Tucker showed the video of armed FBI agents frisking Eastman, he scoffed: “Disgraceful. Wearing his little mask. ‘Put your hands up,’ as if Eastman is a threat. He’s not. He’s a lawyer.”

On this rare occasion, Tucker was wrong. John Eastman is the greatest threat to the far left’s regime of anarcho-tyranny. This regime unleashes violent criminals on our streets, extends bail to serial rapists, and releases illegal aliens who commit criminal acts. But if a conservative lawyer dares to provide legal counsel to a sitting U.S. president, his livelihood and reputation will be destroyed with the full force of government and other institutions infected by the “woke” virus.

Our dad is well equipped for this battle, and while some individuals have lent their support to his efforts, too many have remained on the sidelines.

This, of course, is the stated goal of the 65 Project, a group of left-wing activists dedicated to destroying regime critics through the mechanisms of lawfare: Make patriotic lawyers “toxic in their communities.”

For those new to the Eastman saga, this case study in lawfare began in the public eye on January 6, 2021. Months before, President Donald Trump had sought Eastman’s counsel on cases dealing with election illegalities and fraud.

Eastman became a widely recognized public figure after his speech at the Ellipse on January 6 and for authoring what became known as the “Eastman memos,” internal brainstorming documents in which he laid out numerous scenarios for consideration in efforts to combat the massive instances of illegality that his investigations had revealed in the 2020 election.

The “Eastman memos” require three clarifications that the legacy media refuse to acknowledge. First, Eastman addressed the role of the vice president in the certification of elections. He showed that it is an open question whether the vice president, as president of the Senate, has the authority to resolve disputes over contested electoral votes. Eastman testified under oath that he told President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that this would not be a prudent action. He proposed that Pence accede to requests from more than 100 state legislators to send the matter back to the state legislatures to assess the allegations of fraud and the impact of illegality on the election.

An argument, not a crime

Second, the claim that Eastman solicited criminal conduct is false. The claim is based on the fact that a delay would violate procedural timing provisions of the Electoral Count Act. The ECA is not a criminal statute, nor even one that establishes civil liability. Congress itself does not view the law as binding on it. More importantly, the Electoral Count Act violated the Constitution’s provisions regarding the manner of electing the president by wrongly granting Congress a power expressly delegated to the vice president or to the state legislatures.

To reiterate, as even the New York Times acknowledged in an October 2021 article, Eastman urged Pence to return the slates of electors back to the states to show to the American people they still hold the reins of power in our elections when the manner for choosing presidential electors — a constitutional authority assigned exclusively to the state legislatures — was violated by state elections officials.

Even the Electoral Count Act, as it existed in 2020, recognized the authority of legislatures to step back into the process for choosing electors after a failed election. In Eastman’s view, that provision offered additional support for his conclusion about state legislative authority. Moreover, the Electoral Count Act recognized a prominent role for the vice president, which in Eastman’s analysis, the Constitution actually requires.

If the Electoral Count Act unambiguously did not allow for the vice president’s involvement, as some have contended, why did Congress quietly modify the law in an omnibus bill to clarify that the vice president’s role in the certification of elections was merely ministerial — a high-priced letter opener?

Finally, the legacy media would tar and feather Eastman before they admitted his claims of election illegality were, at the very least, credible and at most that the illegality and fraud were significant enough to steal the 2020 election. In fact, polls show that between one-third and two-thirds of right-leaning Americans believe the former and a growing number are inclined to think the latter.

Since Eastman’s appearance at the Ellipse, he has endured three years of malicious lawsuits, bar complaints, subpoenas, and testimony before the House January 6 committee.

These include criminal charges. Eastman — alongside President Trump and 17 other “co-conspirators” — was indicted with absurd and unprecedented racketeering charges in Georgia by a rogue district attorney, Fani Willis, who appears to have committed perjury while testifying under oath about the details of her affair with the prosecutor she hired for the RICO case.

Holy Week brought a new set of horrors. An action we foresaw based on the predictable conclusion of lawfare was taken Wednesday that shook two centuries of American jurisprudence to its core. After what one commentator has described as the longest (32 days of trial over 10 weeks), most expensive (more than half a million dollars) bar trial in this country’s history, a bar court judge who has continued to make donations to Democrat politicians even after taking the bench has recommended the disbarment of Eastman.

A deep betrayal and tribulation to come

Earlier this week, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the month of Ramadan, a month of prayer and fasting for Muslims. The United States ambassador abstained from the vote, allowing it to pass. As President Biden declared in his statement at the start of Ramadan, this “sacred month is a time for reflection and renewal.”

Meanwhile, Christians are in the midst of their own penitential period, the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter. One would hope that a government so concerned with protecting the sacred nature of the penitential season of Ramadan would be similarly respectful of Lent for devout Christians.

And yet, on the Wednesday of Holy Week, the lead-up to the holiest day of the Christian calendar, Judge Yvette Roland of the California Bar Court issued her ruling, recommending that Eastman, a Roman Catholic, be disbarred.

For Catholics especially, the day has significant meaning. Wednesday of Holy Week is also known as “Spy Wednesday” because it is traditionally commemorated as the day that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus by conspiring with the chief priests. Spy Wednesday therefore is a day when Catholics explicitly contemplate the betrayal by one of Jesus’ closest followers. This is the day that the California Bar chose to betray one of its own by falsely accusing him of attempting to overthrow “our democracy.”

Poetically, the disbarment goes into effect after three days, unless a stay is requested and issued. Because the ruling was issued on Wednesday, those three days will be during the Holy Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday. In years past, Eastman would often be found in church during the Triduum, praying the stations of the cross and contemplating the death and resurrection of our Lord. This year, he will be locked in his office, furiously reading the 128-page decision and helping to draft the motion to stay the order while his appeal proceeds.

With his livelihood at stake, this season of penance will have additional meaning for Eastman and his family this year.

While it may seem a little heavy-handed to compare the work of Eastman and others to the passion and death of Jesus Christ, a little reflection can make clear the connections.

Jesus was betrayed and unjustly condemned because he preached a gospel message that was contrary to the desires of the ruling class of his time. Eastman has been betrayed and indicted for speaking up about election illegality and fraud, contrary to the desires of the political establishment and the mainstream media. At stake is the very soul of our nation, which was founded on the Judeo-Christian fundamentals of truth and justice.

So this Holy Week, Eastman will indeed be taking up a cross, attempting to protect the institutions of our nation that guarantee our religious freedom and our American way of life.

A call to action

Eastman has prepared his whole life to fight years of coordinated attacks and lawfare. His encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of the law are informed by years of study of political philosophy, which culminated in a Ph.D. in government at the once-famous Claremont Graduate School under giants such as Harry V. Jaffa. His law degree is from the University of Chicago, one of the top law schools in the country. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He served as professor of constitutional law and dean of Chapman Law School for decades. He is the founder of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Claremont Institute.

Our dad is well equipped for this battle, and while some individuals have lent their support to his efforts, too many have remained on the sidelines.

With the soul of our justice system at stake, it’s time for others to join the fight.

To conservative media: Hire a reporter to cover lawfare. To date, the only consistent advocate Eastman has in the media exposing the travesties of his bar trial has been Arizona Sun Times reporter Rachel Alexander.

To the conservative legal nonprofit apparatus: There is no shortage of options to pursue an offensive or defensive lawfare strategy. Pick one and get into the fight. File bar complaints against rogue prosecutors. Refer corrupt judges to state judicial qualifications commissions. Campaign for the impeachment of partisan judges. Become involved with bar associations to ensure a more evenly balanced disciplinary process. Provide counsel or legal defense funds to lawyers weathering this storm on your behalf — because Eastman won’t be the last.

To lawyers on both sides of the political aisle: The integrity of your profession is hanging by a thread. Implore your state bars to keep political interests out of their work.

To the American people: Your prayers and financial support mean a lot, this week more than ever.

People ask how John Eastman perseveres. They spike his driveway. They graffiti the streets of his neighborhood to dox his address. They send death threats. They protested outside his home for more than a year. They frisk him with armed FBI agents in a restaurant parking lot and detain his wife. They seize his phone and hold it and its contents for almost two years and counting.

His “friends” strip him of board memberships after decades of service. They suspend his membership in academic conferences, claiming he is a threat. They cancel his university classes and force him to retire. The Bank of America and USAA de-bank him. They humiliate him by forcing him to surrender himself to a prison facility, taking his mug shot and saddling him with a bond amount typically reserved for violent criminals. They burden him with millions in legal fees when he seeks the protection of our great Constitution.

Then they disbar him when they disagree with him and decide that a former president does not deserve legal counsel.

The will to persist is derived from the very meaning of Holy Week itself. As we close this week, join our family in drawing comfort and strength from the words of our Lord: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven.”

Living by these words has made Eastman a happy warrior and has helped him lead his family through this storm. Truth and justice will prevail.

Benjamin Eastman and Christina Wheatland are the children of John Eastman. Eastman’s legal defense fund can be found here: