Rep. Eastman isn’t just an Oath Keeper but also supported their cause on Jan. 6, opposing attorney argues


The trial over Rep. David Eastman’s qualifications to serve was conducted largely by Zoom. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

The civil lawsuit was aimed at disqualifying Rep. David Eastman from office due to his membership in the Oath Keepers, the far-right group whose leaders have been convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

But the week-long trial, ostensibly about the disloyalty clause in the Alaska Constitution, veered into culture war territory and the ideology of the MAGA movement.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Goriune Dudukgian, argued that the Wasilla Republican isn’t just a member of an insurrectionist group but supported the cause himself.

Eastman was in Washington, D.C. to attend then-President Trump’s Stop the Steal rally, preceding the attack on the Capitol. He heeded Trump’s call to march from the White House to the Capitol, Dudukgian said. Eastman didn’t enter the building, but Dudukgian said Eastman could see the violence from where he stood.

“And yet, Rep. Eastman stayed there. He added his presence to the crowd,” Dudukgian said during closing arguments Wednesday. “He took pictures near the Capitol that were then posted to social media. And he didn’t leave the Capitol grounds or Capitol area until the curfew was issued, until everyone was ordered to leave.”

Eastman has never called out the Oath Keepers for their violence, Dudukgian noted, but he has condemned Antifa.

“So I think, based on his actions and inactions, we can show that there was a specific intent to be part of the insurrection on Jan. 6,” Dudukgian said.

Eastman admits he’s a lifetime member of the Oath Keepers, so Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna has one key question to decide: Have the Oath Keepers advocated or taken concrete action to overthrow the US government force? The disloyalty

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