Friday, April 5, 2024

April 5, 2024: Iron-Clad BS - by Park MacDougald

→A Washington, D.C., Bar panel has issued a “nonbinding” preliminary ruling that former Trump Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark—who drafted a letter, which was never sent, to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp claiming that the DOJ was “investigating various irregularities” surrounding the 2020 election—violated professional ethics rules and could face disbarment. The ruling comes a little over one week after a California judge ruled that John Eastman, the legal architect behind Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, should also face disbarment. 

Eastman and Clark were active in helping Trump to formulate legal strategies to challenge the election results and certification in 2020. But whatever you think of the wisdom of those efforts, the disbarment efforts stink of gratuitous lawfare targeting partisan opponents. Both rulings rest on the argument that because experts and mainstream media sources agree there was no fraud or irregularity in the most chaotic election of our lifetimes, Eastman and Clark’s claims of potential fraud or irregularity in the immediate aftermath of the election were intentional lies. That’s despite, for instance, a Fulton County, Georgia, Elections Board member testifying at Clark’s disciplinary hearing this week that there had been no signature verification on 147,000 mail-in ballots and no chain-of-custody documentation for mail-in ballots or drop boxes, both of which were required by Georgia law. No matter—the government said there was no fraud, and so no lawyer is allowed to have believed, between November 2020 and January 2021, that there could have been. 


Eastman and Clark can appeal the rulings of the bar commissions but that is hardly the point. Most if not nearly all lawyers will get the message and be chilled by it, as is intended. That is no bueno.

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