‘MAGA has your back!’ John Eastman’s California disbarment fires up rage in Trump devotees

Screenshot from Eastman’s GiveSendGo fundraiser at 1 p.m. March 28 

The recommended disbarment of attorney John Eastman has infuriated devotees of Donald Trump — and those who see their legal troubles through a lens of religious persecution.

Small-dollar donations have surged to help Eastman fight the forces of “evil” via the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo. Eastman was on track to haul in some $30,000 to support his myriad legal battles within the first 24 hours after the California Bar judge’s decision was released on Wednesday, March 27.

“I am so sorry for what this deplorable country of ours is trying to do to you Mr. Eastman,” said UltraMagaGirlGenX, who kicked in $25, on March 28. “It’s wrong so wrong but I know you will prevail! You are gonna be the start to finally have the evil in the courtrooms expose themselves and out of this your (sic) gonna show strength and you will come out of this a winner for the true American Patriots ..but you must believe it! Walk in as if you’ve already won.”

Former lawyer of former President Donald Trump, John Eastman, appears on screen during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
John Eastman at a hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack in 2022 (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) 

Eastman, alleged architect of a coup and former dean of Chapman University’s law school, has been doing the circuit of “Make America Great Again” talk shows as of late, saying he’s the victim of radical left-wing “lawfare.” Many donations came in after he appeared on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” Thursday morning. Bannon called the Bar judge’s decision outrageous and likened our court system to Nazi Germany’s, where officials used the levers of state power to silence opponents and spread lies. Eastman vowed to challenge the disbarment decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

The Bar judge’s recommendation is 128 pages long, Eastman said, and “Every page has at least one blatant lie on it.”

Lawyers aren’t allowed to make misrepresentations, the judge said, and Eastman made false claims when he told the roiled crowd at the Ellipse that dead people voted. Dead people did, indeed, vote, he told Bannon (that’s a fairly common occurrence, actually, as folks die between the time they mail their ballots and the time they’re counted), and Eastman never said that enough dead people voted to change the outcome of the election.

FILE - Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. The public hearings of the House committee investigating the insurrection pose a challenge to Democrats seeking to maintain narrow control of Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
The U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) 

If people took it that way, it appears that’s on them.

Eastman noted, with irony, that the judge’s decision came during Holy Week. If a higher court doesn’t put a stay on the decision while his appeal is pending, he will not be able to practice law in California.

Meantime, his legal bills could reach $3.5 million, he’s been saying in fundraising appeals. Sympathetic people are responding: Eastman’s GiveSendGo total had reached some $660,000 of its $750,000 goal by Thursday afternoon.

Money from GoFundMe-type fundraisers should be reported on tax returns as “other income,” IRS guidelines say. How much it will be taxed by the “evil” government — a phrase oft repeated at this time of year, by even the most benevolent tax filers — depends on total income and many other factors.

The California State Bar moved to revoke Eastman’s law license more than a year ago. His disbarment trial dragged on for months after myriad delays, including criminal charges against Eastman filed in Georgia.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) 

The Bar judge said Eastman knew there was no basis for the lies he spread about the 2020 election, and that Eastman knew his fringe theories aiming to keep Trump in power had no basis in law. Eastman betrayed the fundamental oaths he swore to uphold as a licensed attorney, and thus must lose his license, her decision said.

“Mr. Eastman…YOU are a patriot warrior!!” an anonymous $20 donor wrote on March 28. “Just saw the segment on WarRoom and, I thank Our Lord for you and for Steve Bannon. Sir…you are an inspiration for you grit and for your intellect. MAGA HAS YOUR BACK!!!!”