John Eastman, one of the lawyers who played a central role in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, surrendered to Georgia authorities Tuesday following his indictment in the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
“I am here today to surrender to an indictment that should never have been brought,” Eastman said in a statement. “It represents a crossing of the Rubicon for our country, implicating the fundamental First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
Eastman added that he expects himself and the others facing charges in the case to be vindicated.
“My legal team and I will vigorously contest every count of the indictment in which I am named, and also every count in which others are named, for which my knowledge of the relevant facts, law, and constitutional provisions may prove helpful,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Scott Hall, a bail bondsman, became the first defendant in the indictment to turn himself in at the Fulton County Jail. Hall was indicted on seven charges over his role in the breach of voting machines in Coffee County. His bond has been set at $10,000.
Prior to Eastman’s surrender on Tuesday, Judge Yvette Roland, who is overseeing a separate disbarment trial Eastman is facing in California, said she would delay that proceeding to allow him to turn himself in in Georgia.
“Based on the recent email exchanges between and with the parties, the court is willing to make certain changes in this week’s trial schedule in order to accommodate Dr. Eastman’s surrender in Fulton County, Georgia, which the court understands will take place on Wednesday, August 23rd,” Judge Yvette Roland wrote, according to CNN.
His bond has been set at $100,000, while the agreement also states he should refrain from intimidating co-defendants or any witnesses in the case.
The indictment alleges Eastman and Trump, on Jan. 4, two days before the deadly Capitol riot, suggested that then-Vice President Mike Pence either delay the certification of the election result during the Joint Session of Congress or reject the votes of certain states’ electoral votes, even though Eastman knew both options violated the law.
Harvey Silverglate, Eastman’s lawyer, previously rejected the charges facing his client as politically motivated.
“Lawyers everywhere should be sleepless over this latest stunt to criminalize their advocacy,” Silverglate said on Aug. 15. “This is a legal cluster-bomb that leaves unexploded ordinances for lawyers to navigate in perpetuity. Dr. Eastman will challenge this indictment in any and all forums available to him.”
Meanwhile, Trump said he plans to turn himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Thursday. His bond agreement is set at $200,000 and instructs him to refrain from intimidating witnesses, including on social media.
Apart from the Georgia case, Eastman is reportedly identified as Co-Conspirator 2 in the Jan. 6 indictment special counsel Jack Smith brought against Trump. Eastman is accused of calling on then-Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to reject Joe Biden’s win in the state, among other things.
This article has been updated to note that Eastman surrendered to Georgia authorities Tuesday.