Professor John Eastman retired Wednesday from Chapman University after speaking at last week’s rally for President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, which is associated with the riot in the Capitol that led to a second impeachment.
Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Times reported that the university had resisted pressure from faculty members who demanded that Eastman be fired after he made claims of voter fraud alongside Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The Times noted:
Chapman University’s president says he cannot and will not fire a professor and former law school dean amid growing campus calls for action against the faculty member’s participation in a pro-Trump rally during which he made claims about election fraud on the day a violent mob stormed the Capitol.
John Eastman, an endowed professor and constitutional law scholar at Chapman, spoke alongside Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani at the “Save America” rally Jan. 6, citing “secret folders” in ballot machines that were used to skew vote totals.
A Jan. 8 letter signed by more than 160 Chapman faculty members called for the university’s faculty senate, provost, president and law school dean to take action against Eastman, including stripping him of his endowed professorship and removing him from teaching students.
“Free speech is sacred, and tenured academics like Eastman have the privilege of speaking their mind without fear of repercussion. But Eastman abused that freedom,” they wrote, saying that his conspiratorial claims about a stolen election formed the basis of the insurrection.
By evening, the university had surrendered, reaching a deal with Chapman to leave.
The Orange County Register reported:
Chapman President Daniele Struppa issued a statement late Wednesday saying the school and Eastman negotiated an exit, and that their agreement “closes this challenging chapter for Chapman.”
Late Wednesday, Eastman sent a two-page statement about his departure from Chapman. In it, he repeated claims of voter fraud that he made to the U.S. Supreme Court as Trump’s lawyer, in a case the court refused to take up. He also praised Struppa for defending his academic freedom, but slammed most of the rest of Chapman’s faculty, who he says have made “defamatory statements” about him and signed a petition calling for his removal from the school.
“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.”
Chapman had also recently raised eyebrows by questioning Kamala Harris’s eligibility to be vice president. A former dean of Chapman’s law school, and long-time conservative activist, Chapman prevailed over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the IRS scandal of 2013-2014, when the agency admitted it had leaked information about the National Organization for Marriage, an organization he chaired, to its critics at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.