The State Bar of California is being asked to investigate John Eastman, who penned the so-called "coup memo" arguing that Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the 2020 election.
According to a release, the States United Democracy Center submitted a supplemental letter to a previous complaint citing the op-ed from Pence's chief counsel that was never published. The first complaint was sent six weeks ago.
The Pence counsel, Greg Jacob, urged an investigation into Eastman, as well as Rudy Giuliani, for work to stop the counting of electoral votes. The text cites American Bar Association rules for conduct saying that all barred lawyers "provide a client with an informed understanding of the client's legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications." They require that "[a] lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions."
Jacob went on to write that when lawyers like Eastman disregard ethics they're hurting both their clients and the legal community. He went on to say Eastman and Giuliani were "using their credentials to sell a stream of snake oil to the most powerful office in the world, wrapped in the guise of a lawyer's advice."
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The SUDC letter reveals Eastman's behavior charting a timeline showing his and Giuliani's conversations with hundreds of state-level officials telling them to decertify the electors. They also cited "reports of numerous closed-door meetings and public media appearances in which Eastman falsely claimed that the vice president has unilateral power to reject duly appointed electors."
The letter goes on to argue an assessment by former White House Ethics Czar Norm Eisen that "recent events warrant a deeper dive into the contacts that Eastman made in the lead up to the January 6 insurrection, including with Pence's aides."
The information, they say, "strongly confirms the allegations of unethical conduct in the complaint and underscores the need to investigate them. These revelations highlight the need for the bar to undertake a thorough review."
"Mr. Pence was the target of Mr. Trump's and Mr. Eastman's campaign to hijack or disrupt the electoral count," the supplemental continues, "and Mr. Jacob was an eyewitness to Mr. Eastman's role in it. If there were nothing more than Mr. Jacob's recently published account, the case for an investigation would be exceptionally strong. But there is a great deal more."
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The new information, they argue, reveals Eastman's "central role" in the effort by Donald Trump "to hijack or derail the Joint Session of Congress that met to conduct the electoral count."
"Mr. Eastman also appears to have had a larger role than previously understood in both public and private efforts to pressure Mr. Pence, and the new incidents that have emerged confirm his indifference to the truth and to upholding the Constitution. We review that information, together with Mr. Eastman's recent public defense of his actions, in Part I," the letter says.
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