The State Bar of California disclosed Tuesday that it had been investigating former President Donald Trump attorney John Eastman for possible ethics violations in his advice to Trump regarding disputation of the 2020 election results.

Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona reported that the investigation into his conduct began last September and that his ability to practice law in California is on the line.

Cardona said that the state bar has received and is reviewing press reports, court filings and other documents that might give insight into Eastman’s actions as he counseled Trump on how he might go about overturning the results, which were in favor of President Joe Biden. The attorney played a role in the plan to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to go against verifying Biden’s win, as was laid out in two memos with Eastman’s name on them.

Eastman said he proposed options for the White House and was using the right to petition “the government for redress of grievances,” in an interview with The Washington Post.


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“As was his duty as an attorney, Dr. Eastman zealously represented his client, comprehensively exploring legal and constitutional means to advance his client’s interests,” a spokesperson for Eastman said.

“Subsequent to that representation, he also sought to protect his client’s privileged communications ‘at every peril to himself,’” the spokesperson added. “Dr. Eastman expects the Bar’s investigation into these matters will fully exonerate him from any charges.”

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack is also investigating Eastman, and recent efforts have been made to obtain Eastman’s emails from around the time of the riot.

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