We do not issue editorial statements on ordinary public policy matters or controversies. This week, however, we feel compelled to speak out in defense of the rights of all Americans, and in particular John Eastman.
Eastman is a highly respected constitutional law professor who acted as an attorney to President Donald Trump. Eastman has been called to appear before the House of Representatives’ “January 6 Committee.” This committee is an extraordinary departure from the role of Congress and from basic procedural fairness. The very legality of the committee is in question, as it includes no ranking minority member. It appears to have been stacked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with partisans for whom the outcome of the investigation is known before the investigation has begun. Eastman has very wisely declined to participate in this partisan denigration of procedural fairness, and has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
No person may be compelled to be a witness against himself in a criminal case. This is fundamental to our republican form of government. The origin of this rule, as illustrated at length by the famous Claremont professor Leonard Levy, is the necessity of forcing the state to produce evidence of a crime, to guard against the political persecution of enemies and the possibility of manufacturing evidence through coercion. Our legal tradition holds that no inference should ever be made as to guilt by the invocation of this sacred Constitutional right and rule of procedural fairness.
These safeguards are more urgent now than ever before. Every intelligent and educated citizen who is willing to face the truth, to look past the official narratives of the establishment media, can see the facts and the direction in which events are moving.
Our own Julie Kelly—an immensely brave and dedicated investigative reporter—has been at the forefront of exposing the truly frightening behavior of the Capitol Police on January 6, as well as the shocking mistreatment inflicted on the rioters held in the D.C. jail. The details of this scandal are slowly being revealed, despite the intense efforts of the ruling class to keep thousands of hours of video, official reports, and other records secret.
The shocking behavior of our public officials extends far beyond a few Capitol police officers; it includes the FBI, federal prosecutors, and even federal judges, who appear to have little regard for due process, trial by jury, and equal protection of the laws when the accused are considered “enemies of the regime.”
Efforts to harm John Eastman, professionally and personally, are part of this larger effort. Eastman, who is the director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, is being attacked for furnishing legal arguments to a client, President Trump. This confidential advice has been described, preposterously, as plotting a coup.
In truth, it is the Democratic Party that long ago spurned the original limits and structure of the United States Constitution. But while almost all liberals and elected officials used to make public professions of loyalty to our constitutional system of government, that is changing—and changing rapidly. We now live in a political-legal environment where “penumbras and emanations” from the Bill of Rights protect “sacred” rights to, among other things, abortion. But, for those deemed enemies of the regime, no protection is given for the express right to a trial prior to punishment.
The rule of law itself is at stake in this controversy. This growing danger must be firmly resisted now, before it is too late.
You can contribute to John Eastman’s legal defense fund here.