University of Colorado-Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano on Thursday refused to terminate John C. Eastman, a visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy, for spreading conspiracy theories about election fraud prior to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the losing presidential candidate.
“Those who fanned the flames of disinformation and distrust, contributing to this mob, will live forever under history’s eye. That includes Chapman University Professor John Eastman,” DiStefano said in a statement. “His continued advocacy of conspiracy theories is repugnant, and he will bear the shame for his role in undermining confidence in the rule of law.”
DiStefano said the First Amendment and the “few more months” left in Eastman’s contract did not merit his removal. However, Eastman has contributed “nothing of value” to the campus’s ideals, and his conduct “does not reflect the values of our university. He has embarrassed our institution,’ DiStefano added.
Eastman is a law professor at Chapman University in Irvine, Calif., whom CU named as a visiting conservative scholar in March 2020. A statement on Thursday from Chapman University’s political science department said Eastman had “embarrassed” them “on the world stage.”
"Both statements are libelous, and I believe malicious,” Eastman told Colorado Politics. “I have proof of every statement I made during that speech … . These kind of attacks on me and others are designed to silence those who would speak the truth about the election.”
Speaking in Washington, D.C., alongside President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, on Wednesday, Eastman accused election workers of “unloading the ballots from that secret folder, matching them to the unvoted voters, and voila! We have enough votes to barely get over the finish line.”
It was unclear what Eastman was referring to. Asked to provide evidence to Colorado Politics, Eastman responded: “Once the litigation is filed.” Following the rally, Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, where four rioters and a Capitol police officer died.
In a lawsuit from last year against three swing states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden, Eastman, intervening on behalf of Trump, wrote to the U.S. Supreme Court that the “constitutional issue is not whether voters committed fraud” but rather whether election officials made fraud “undetectable.”
Eastman previously came under criticism for suggesting Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was not a citizen under a conservative legal theory that is not the current practice of the United States.