Steve has mentioned the bar complaint filed against John Eastman for the legal advice he provided in support of Donald Trump’s effort to stop Joe Biden from becoming president. Christian Adams has written what I consider a powerful takedown of this attempt to punish Eastman for providing legal advice that anti-Trumpers disagree with on a subject they are passionate about.
A similar thing is happening to Jeff Clark, the former assistant attorney general who pushed unsuccessfully to put the weight of the Justice Department behind resistance to Biden’s ascension to the presidency. A group of D.C. attorneys has filed a bar complaint against Clark for his efforts.
The Hill describes those who signed the complaint against Jeff as “a group of legal heavyweights.” That’s an exaggeration, as you can probably tell just from reading the credentials the signatories list in the complaint.
Frankly, given the contempt in which genuine legal heavyweights in D.C. hold Trump, I was surprised not to see a more impressive list. Maybe the real heavyweights were put off by the idea of using bar complaints to punish those who take unpopular positions. I hope that’s still a possibililty. Maybe they found no merit in the substance of the complaint.
I find none, but that’s a subject for another post. For now, I just want to flag this new tactic being used against respected — albeit misguided in this instance — conservative attorneys. I consider it dangerous and likely to spread, if not nipped in the bud in these two cases.
As Christian Adams says in his article about Eastman, and as the left loves to say when attorneys are making bad arguments in favor of their causes:
[O]ur judicial system needs more lawyers like John Adams and fewer cowards. John Eastman represented a client unpopular to some and made arguments that were anchored to his interpretation of the Constitution. No matter your feelings on the 2020 election, the swarm directed against him is more dangerous to our Republic than anything he is accused of doing.
When the left comes up with a too-clever-by-a-half tactic like this one, there is often the possibility that the same tactic will be turned against it. In the case of bar complaints, however, the left has nothing to fear.
State bar organizations are controlled by the left in many states. Even in red states, these outfits tend not to tilt conservative. It is highly unlikely that attorneys who make bad, push-the-envelope arguments on behalf of left-liberal causes or clients will be punished by a state bar.
I hope John Eastman and Jeff Clark have nothing to fear from the California and D.C. bars, respectively. But I’m not fully confident they don’t.