Chapman University law professor John Eastman is facing calls for his termination after he spoke alongside Rudy Giuliani at the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., last week, which took place just hours before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
Eastman is also chairman of the Federalist Society’s Federalism & Separation of Powers practice group.
ABC 7 reported that “More than 1,400 people, including Eastman’s colleagues, have signed an online petition demanding he be fired.”
Lisa Leitz, a professor of peace studies at Chapman, is one of more than 150 faculty members there who penned a letter to the university demanding Eastman be fired. Eyewitness News reached out to Eastman for comment, but hasn’t heard back.
Leitz says his appearance at the rally and his past Trump campaign activities have scarred the university’s reputation.
“It associates us with a racist insurrection against the U.S. democracy and it undermines the credibility of every faculty member,” she said.
However, university President Daniel Struppa said the school can only terminate a faculty member if they are disbarred or found guilty of a felony.
“The Manual does not allow me to decide on my own that any faculty is a criminal or that they should be disbarred and therefore fired, which is what I am being asked to do,” Struppa said in a statement.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Eastman argued to Vice President Mike Pence ahead of Congress’ certification of the election results that he had the authority to stop the final validation of the votes.
When Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results were rejected at every turn by state officials and judges, Mr. Trump was told, incorrectly, that the vice president could stop the final validation of the election of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. in his role as president of the Senate presiding over the Electoral College count.
In the Oval Office last week, the day before the vote, Mr. Trump pushed Mr. Pence in a string of encounters, including one meeting that lasted at least an hour. John Eastman, a conservative constitutional scholar at Chapman University, was in the office and argued to Mr. Pence that he did have the power to act.
Three other constitutional experts Pence consulted on the matter agreed that it was not within the vice president’s power to stop the certification.