A former judge on a U.S. federal appeals court and California’s highest court vouched on Friday for the character of Donald Trump’s ex-personal lawyer John Eastman during his disciplinary trial in California.
Janice Rogers Brown, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2005 to 2017, described Eastman as “very careful and meticulous,” and willing to engage with opposing views.
“I don’t always agree with him, but he always has support for the arguments that he is making,” Brown testified. But she added that she has never worked with Eastman, nor did he ever appear before her as a judge.
Prior to her appointment to the D.C. Circuit by President George W. Bush, Brown was an associate justice on the California Supreme Court.
The State Bar of California is seeking to strip Eastman of his law license, arguing that his efforts to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over former Republican president Trump during the 2020 presidential election was unsupported by law or precedent and ran contrary to U.S. values.
Brown’s testimony as a character witness for Eastman comes near the tail end of his California State Bar Court disciplinary trial, which has spanned five months.
The court is expected to hear closing arguments from Eastman’s lawyers and prosecutors from the State Bar of California in either late October or early November.
Eastman, a former law professor at Chapman University in California, drafted legal memos suggesting then-Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to accept electoral votes for Biden from several swing states when Congress convened to certify the 2020 vote count. Pence rebuffed his arguments, saying he did not have legal authority.
Throughout the trial, Eastman has continually defended his actions, arguing that his legal theories were viable and advanced in good faith.
Eastman had previously tried to tap Brown as an expert witness who would argue that the state bar’s charges against him were unprecedented. However, Judge Yvette Roland of the California State Bar Court rejected Eastman’s bid in May.
Brown, now a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, was instead called by Eastman’s legal team as one of a handful of character witness.
Eastman is separately one of 18 Trump allies who were criminally charged in August along with the former president with violating racketeering and other laws in their efforts to challenge the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Two other lawyers who were charged alongside Eastman — Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell — both pleaded guilty to criminal charges in Fulton County this week.