Attorney John Eastman surrendered to Georgia authorities Tuesday after prosecutors accused him of being part of a criminal enterprise that sought to help Donald Trump remain in office after the former president lost the 2024 presidential election.
The 63-year-old lawyer and academic was booked at the Fulton County Jail a week after he, Trump and 17 of the 45th president’s surrogates were indicted on charges including racketeering and forgery in connection to a failed “fake electors” scheme.
Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall surrendered prior to Eastman, making him the first Trump associate to surrender in Georgia. Their co-defendants have until Friday to turn themselves in.
Trump plans to surrender Thursday — the day after the GOP debates take place in Milwaukee, Wis. — where he is not expected to be in attendance. Despite his legal woes, Trump is once again the front-runner to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2020.
Eastman’s lawyers released a statement Tuesday claiming their client was surrendering over an indictment that “should never have been brought.” It’s their contention that Eastman, who faces possible disbarment in California, simply offered legal support to Trump and committed no crime.
In January, Eastman retired from Chapman University Law School in Orange, Calif., where he spent more than two decades and is a former dean.
The right-wing jurist spread false information during a speech at Trump’s Jan. 6. 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally, where MAGA extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.
In Georgia, Eastman is accused of penning a memo claiming former Vice President Mike Pence could stop the counting of electoral votes that would effectively end Trump’s presidency.
Eastman, along with other alleged conspirators, is also accused of supporting an alternate “slate of electors” to cast electoral votes for Trump in states won by Biden.
It’s been joked that Trump’s “MAGA” slogan — “Make America Great Again” — now stands for “Making Attorneys Get Attorneys.”
Former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell have found themselves in legal peril for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Michael Cohen, who represented Trump for nearly a decade, calls it “sadly” true that the former president’s legal advisers often end up hiring defense attorneys.
Disgraced counselor Jenna Ellis wondered why Trump wasn’t helping his lawyers with their new legal fees after learning she too had been indicted in Georgia.
“I was reliably informed Trump isn’t funding any of us who are indicted,” she wrote on social media last week. “I totally agree this has become a bigger principle than just one man. So why isn’t MAGA, Inc. funding everyone’s defense?”
With News Wire Services