John Eastman, the conservative attorney who pushed a plan to keep Donald Trump in power, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday on charges in the Georgia case alleging an illegal plot to overturn the former president’s 2020 election loss.
Eastman was booked at the Fulton County jail before being released by authorities. He’s expected later face a judge to be arraigned in the sprawling racketeering case brought last week.
Eastman is charged alongside former President Donald Trump and 17 others who are accused by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of scheming to subvert the will of Georgia voters in a desperate bid to keep Democrat Joe Biden out of the White House.
Eastman, a former dean of Chapman University law school in Southern California, was a close adviser to Trump in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters intent on halting the certification of Biden’s electoral victory.
Eastman wrote a memo laying out steps Vice President Mike Pence could take to interfere in the counting of electoral votes while presiding over Congress’ joint session on Jan. 6 in order to keep Trump in office.
The indictment alleges that Eastman and others pushed to put in place a slate of “alternate” electors falsely certifying that Trump won, and tried to pressure Pence into rejecting or delaying the counting of legitimate electoral votes for Biden.
Eastman’s legal team has said the indictment “sets out activity that is political, but not criminal.”
“Lawyers everywhere should be sleepless over this latest stunt to criminalize their advocacy. This is a legal cluster-bomb that leaves unexploded ordinance for lawyers to navigate in perpetuity,” his attorneys said in a statement.
Eastman was the second person to turn himself in. Scott Hall, a bail bondsman in Atlanta, also turned himself in on Tuesday.
Trump has any denied any wrongdoing, and characterized the case — and three others he faces — as an effort to hurt his 2024 campaign for president.
The former president said he plans to turn himself in to Georgia authorities on Thursday.
Editor's Note: An image in this story previously showed Jeffrey Clark, who is also a defendant in the case. It has been updated to show John Eastman.
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