A Republican state lawmaker who is a "life member" of the Oath Keepers could face expulsion from Alaska's House of Representatives.
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, attended former president Donald Trump's Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6, but it's unclear if he participated in the subsequent riot, and he has not been charged with any related crimes.
After 11 members of the Oath Keepers were indicted on seditious conspiracy charges for their role in the insurrection, members of the Alaska House's coalition majority are discussing whether and how to punish Eastman, the Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday night.
"Multiple members of the largely-Democratic coalition said their talks have involved a variety of possible punishments or actions, including expelling him from the House," the newspaper reported. "Other options include a legislative investigation, a non-binding vote of disapproval, passing legislation related to a disloyalty clause in the Alaska Constitution, removing Eastman from committees, cutting his staff or censuring him."
Alaska's Constitution includes a disloyalty clause barring anyone "who advocates, or who aids or belongs to any party or organization or association which advocates, the overthrow by force or violence of the government of the United States or of the State” from holding public office.
"Eastman also has not denounced the Oath Keepers or denied his membership in the group, and when the group’s leaders were charged, Eastman called the accusations 'politically driven indictments,'" the newspaper reported.
Eastman was previously censured by the House for claiming that women in rural villages "try to get pregnant so they can get a free trip to a city for an abortion," the newspaper reported. That marked the first time the Alaska House has ever censured a member. Only one member has been expelled, following a bribery conviction in the 1980s.
Expulsion would require a two-thirds majority vote, meaning it would need Republican support. However, some lawmakers reportedly fear that taking lesser action would "allow Eastman to portray himself as a victim persecuted for political reasons rather than for a violation of the Alaska Constitution."
It's also possible that the Alaska Division of Elections will consider the state Constitution's disloyalty clause when determining whether Eastman is qualified to run for re-election, which he reportedly plans to do.