John Eastman, Donald Trump Election Lawsuit Adviser, Parts Ways With University

Chapman University has announced that Professor John Eastman will retire, effectively immediately, in the wake of the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. A controversial constitutional scholar who advised President Donald Trump's campaign on their attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, spoke at the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the riot last week.

Eastman is the author of a widely criticized Newsweek opinion piece that questioned whether Kamala Harris was eligible to be vice president.

Hours before the Capitol riot began, Eastman joined Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on stage and bolstered the president's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. "We know there was fraud," he said. "We know that dead people voted." He also was the counsel of record on the administration's lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

"After discussions over the course of the last week, Dr. John Eastman and Chapman University have reached an agreement pursuant to which he will retire from Chapman, effective immediately," Chapman University President Daniele Struppa said in a Wednesday statement.

"Dr. Eastman's departure closes this challenging chapter for Chapman and provides the most immediate and certain path forward for both the Chapman community and Dr. Eastman," he added.

Struppa said the two parties have agreed not to engage in any legal action, including claims of defamation, moving forward.

Stop the Steal
Supporters of President Donald Trump flock to the National Mall by the tens of thousands for a rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Chapman University announced that professor John Eastman would be retiring from the school after his appearance at the rally. Samuel Corum/Stringer

The announcement comes after Eastman's colleagues condemned his participation in the rally in an unanimous statement and demanded that the university remove him from Chapman's faculty.

"As political scientists, we share a commitment to democratic values and the rule of law," the January 7 statement reads. "It is clear that Professor Eastman's false claims about the 2020 presidential election have no basis in fact or law and seek to harm the democratic foundations of our constitutional republic."

Responding to the news in a statement published through The American Mind, Eastman defended his claims saying that he could support them "with documentary and/or expert evidence" and slammed his colleagues for making "false, defamatory statements" about him.

"I am grateful that not a single one of my colleagues at the Law School signed such a defamatory letter. To my knowledge, not one of the faculty signers has a law degree, and the three members of the Board of Trustees who are lawyers (and hyper-partisan Democrats) are clearly not well-versed in the constitutional questions at issue," he wrote.

Eastman noted that his "entire academic career has been as a professor and Dean at the Chapman University Fowler School of Law," and said he will continue his visitorship at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the president is considering Eastman to represent him in his impeachment defense after the House voted to impeach Trump for the second time. "If the President of the United States asked me to consider helping him, I would certainly give it consideration," Eastman said.