John Eastman’s expert witness in disbarment hearing is barred for not being an expert

Attorney at the heart of Donald Trump’s efforts to subvert results of 2020 election faces potential disbarment

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 21 June 2023 18:32 BST
During Biden’s Inauguration, Trump Lawyer John Eastman Pitched Plan to Overturn Election

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Louise Thomas

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A judge in California barred an expert witness from testifying in the disbarment trial of John Eastman, the former attorney for former president Donald Trump, since the witness was not an expert, The Daily Beastreported.

Mr Eastman is facing a potential disbarment for his involvement in a plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. He attempted to call a man named Joseph Fried, an accountant who wrote an eBook that questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results, as a witness.

But California State Bar Court Judge Yvette Roland vetoed the attempt.

“I don’t see how Mr Fried is qualified to be an expert,” NPR reporter Tom Dreisbach reported her saying. “He has no experience in voting or election matters.”

In addition, California bar attorney Duncan Carling said “We don’t believe the opinion of a CPA ... is relevant” and that Mr Fried “never identified any instances of fraud.”

Mr Eastman is facing 11 disciplinary charges related to his efforts to concoct a plan that would have allowed then-vice president Mike Pence to certify Mr Trump as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. If found culpable, he could lose his law license or have it suspended. The California Supreme Court will ultimately give the final ruling.

John Eastman
John Eastman (AP)

Mr Carling called Mr Eastman’s actions a “last-ditch effort” in a series “of increasingly desperate attempts to overturn the election.”

He was fully aware in real time that his plan was damaging the nation,” Mr Carling said, adding that “Dr Eastman sought at every turn to avoid every public test of his theory, and he privately confessed … that his theory had no chance of persuading the court.”

Mr Carling pointed to an email exchange between Mr Eastman and Mr Pence’s attorney Greg Jacob, wherein Mr Jacob said Mr Eastman was being “gravely irresponsible.”

Mr Eastman’s attorney Randal Miller defended his client’s actions, saying “Lawyers get to argue debatable issues, which is what Dr Eastman did,” according to The Washington Post.

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