The disbarment trial of former Donald Trump attorney and constitutional scholar John Eastman for his role advising the previous president about challenging the 2020 presidential election resumed on Thursday after almost a two-month break caused by conflicting schedules among the parties. It was scheduled to resume on Tuesday but was postponed for two days due to Eastman’s brief arrest in Georgia as one of the 18 people along with Trump who were indicted for their efforts investigating election fraud after the 2020 election.
The State Bar of California put Matthew Seligman on the witness stand all day, asking the fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School whether there was legal precedent for a vice president acting as president of the senate to reject electoral votes. Seligman said he does not believe election fraud occurred in the 2020 election. He does not appear to have any experience in elections until 2020. His previous work includes papers like “Moral Diversity and Efficient Breach” in 2019 and “The Error Theory of Contract” in 2018.
On March 30, Seligman testified before the House Weaponization of the Federal Government Subcommittee and denounced Republican members of Congress who expressed concerns about election fraud. Seligman said their fraud claims were “false,” singling out Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH-04). He said regarding Jordan’s tweet that Democrats were trying to steal the election, “[T]hose elections are, without question, fundamentally sound. These falsehoods form the foundation of an unprecedented effort to reverse the efforts of a presidential election.”
Much of California bar attorney Duncan Carling’s direct examination of Seligman consisted of asking him about previous historical disputes over electoral votes where the vice president did not take a substantive role in accepting them. Carling also asked him about evidence that appeared to show vice presidents may have that authority. Carling cited the 1886 legislative debates that led up to the Electoral Count Act (ECA), where opponents of the ECA worried the proposed law might infringe on the authority of the president of the Senate regarding electoral votes. Seligman dismissed the seriousness of the remarks, saying they were “politically motivated statements.”
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