President Donald Trump is once more seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 elections. And this time, he’s enlisting the help of a lawyer best known for questioning Sen. Kamala Harris’s citizenship and eligibility to serve as Joe Biden’s running mate and VP.
In a Wednesday court filing, Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow him to intervene in a Texas lawsuit seeking to nullify President-elect Biden’s clear victory over the sitting president in the 2020 election. The suit, which was announced Tuesday by Texas’s GOP attorney general Ken Paxton, zeros in on the results in four key states that Biden won.
Much like other efforts by Trump’s lawyers during the post-election legal blitz to cancel Biden’s decisive victory, this new lawsuit has little hope of achieving that goal, even as President Trump pitches it to his supporters as the first step to reclaiming the presidency.
Underscoring the suit's remote prospects is the lawyer being asked to push it.
Chapman University law professor John Eastman is the attorney representing Trump., according to the court filing. He is a familiar face for Fox News viewers, having made his biggest media splash this year when he authored a widely panned Newsweek op-ed that engaged in groundless birtherism around Harris.
In the op-ed, Eastman claimed that the Democratic senator wasn’t a natural born citizen, even though she was clearly born in Oakland, California, because she was born to non permanent residents of the country: an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. He extended that line of reasoning to argue that she lacked the eligibility to run for vice president of the United States.
The essay, published in August under the title, “Some Questions for Kamala Harris About Eligibility,” was considered so laughable and racist at the news organization that it triggered a revolt among staffers and, eventually, a public apology. But by then, President Trump was already using the op-ed to spread innuendo about Harris’s eligibility, and telling reporters that Eastman, who now represents him as a personal attorney, “brilliant.”
Eastman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Over the past four years, Eastman has joined a number of lawsuits seeking to support conservative causes and Trump administration officials.
In October, he filed a suit against Pennsylvania’s secretary of state on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a conservative legal foundation headquartered at the Claremont Institute, alleging that the state hadn’t met its obligations to remove ineligible voters under the National Voting Rights Act. He’s also filed amicus briefs supporting the Trump administration in a high profile case over an ISIS member’s claims to American citizenship and the Republican National Committee in a suit over California’s vote-by-mail rules.