Trump-supporting legal scholar resigns from university under duress, issues troubling statement

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Conservative legal scholar John Eastman has announced “with mixed feelings” his immediate resignation from Chapman University as a result of what he describes as a hostile work environment, allegedly created by left-wing colleagues.

Eastman, a frequent guest on Fox News Channel’s The Ingraham Angle, was one of the lawyers challenging the outcome of Election 2020 on behalf of President Trump and spoke at the rally in D.C. on January 6, the latter of which may have been the deal-breaker.


Apparently, 169 faculty members and three members of the Orange County, Calif., school’s board of trustees attempted to get him canceled by signing and publishing a letter containing “false, defamatory statements” about him, Eastman contends.

A former dean of Chapman’s law school, Eastman wrote in his 1,000-plus word resignation letter that the political science faculty, in particular, claimed that his allegations about the 2020 presidential election were untethered to facts or law and undermined the Constitution.

“Had they bothered to discuss the matter with me, they could have learned that every statement I have made is backed up with documentary and/or expert evidence, and solidly grounded in law. For example, it is a fact that partisan election officials and even partisan-elected judicial officials in numerous states altered or ignored existing state laws in the conduct of the election, the instances of which are well- documented in the petition for writ of certiorari I filed in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the President,” constitutional law expert Eastman wrote about his campus adversaries.

Eastman also rejected the premise that he did in any way participate in the calamity at the U.S. Capitol (as President Trump described it).

“The letter signed by 169 members of the Chapman faculty and Board of Trustees is even more scurrilous. It claims, falsely, that I ‘participated in a riot that incited’ last week’s violence at the nation’s Capital.

“I participated in a peaceful rally of nearly ½ million people, two miles away from the violence that occurred at the capital and which began even before the speeches were finished. And unless simply identifying illegal actions by election officials qualifies as ‘incitement’—under the law and well-established Supreme Court precedent, it clearly does not—then this charge is really an attempt to shut down the exercise of First Amendment rights…”

“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…,” Eastman added, along with noting that none of his colleagues in the law school signed the letter.

Despite the complaints having no substance, “these 169 have created such a hostile environment for me that I no longer wish to be a member of the Chapman faculty, and am therefore retiring from my position, effective immediately,” Eastman concluded.

The hostile work environment language can often be a precursor to an employment discrimination lawsuit. In a statement, however, Chapman University President Daniele Struppa revealed that “Chapman and Dr. Eastman have agreed not to engage in legal actions of any kind, including any claim of defamation that may currently exist, as both parties move forward.” This suggests that a financial settlement of some kind may have occurred.

Eastman indicated that he intends to continue his work as director of the Claremont Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

No reasonable person disagrees that the perpetrators of the horrible violence by those who stormed the Capitol should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Guilt by association has generally never been part of the American tradition, however.

Despite its tradition of advocating for civil liberties, the left has abandoned its support for free speech, a clampdown which is particularly evident on college campuses, venues where ideas of all kinds — good, bad, or indifferent — formerly found a home. Ideological conformity rather than academic freedom is now a baseline requirement. It also calls into question the whole idea of seeking a university degree outside of the STEM fields.

Trump supporters likely feel that given the alleged rampant irregularities and statistical anomalies in Election 2020, attempting to seek redress through the court system would seem to be a way to uphold democracy rather than eroding it.

Robert Jonathan

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