(ConservativePeak.com)- John Eastman, a constitutional law scholar at Chapman University, will retire immediately following backlash for his participation in the January 6 rally for former President Donald Trump.
Chapman University announced last week that Eastman, who’s an endowed professor at the school, would retire immediately. Chapman spoke alongside Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, at the rally on January 6 that preceded the storming of the U.S. Capitol building.
During his speech, Chapman said there were “secret folders” inside machines that counted ballots that skewed the results in Georgia. He said the results were skewed in favor of Democratic candidates for both president and U.S. Senate.
In the days following the rally and ensuing riot, Eastman was claiming defamation against the university. However, in an agreement between the university and the professor, Eastman will retire immediately from his position.
As Daniele Struppa, the president of Chapman University, said in a statement:
“Dr. Eastman’s departure closes this challenging chapter for Chapman and provides the most immediate and certain path forward for both the Chapman community and Dr. Eastman.”
As per the agreement, neither the university nor the professor will seek legal action against each other.
Some Chapman faculty members signed a statement calling for Eastman’s ouster. The January letter, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, read:
“Last month, 159 Chapman faculty members signed a statement of outrage that John Eastman was using his university credentials in a spurious lawsuit before the Supreme Court. We did not call for his ouster. But participation in a riot that incited violence against the U.S. government and the death of a police officer, puts matters into a different realm and should disqualify him from the privilege of teaching law to our students and strip him of the honor of an endowed chair.”
Struppa declined to fire Eastman, though. He said that Eastman’s statements were in “direct opposition to the values and beliefs of our institution.” At the same time, though, Struppa said he was the university’s president, not its “Supreme Leader,” and as such, there would be appropriate processes to investigate actions of any faculty member that have to be followed.
Following the announcement of his retirement, Eastman emailed a statement saying he was retiring “with mixed feeling.” He mentioned that he spent his entire academic career at Chapman University. Under his leadership, the school achieved the highest national ranking it has ever achieved.
At the same time, the members of faculty who signed the letter calling for his firing “created such a hostile environment for me that I no longer wish to be a member of the Chapman faculty.”
He said the letter was “defamatory,” insisting what he said at the January 6 rally were factual. He added that it was “scurrilous” for the faculty to claim he participated in a riot in any way.
“This charge is really an attempt to shut down the exercise of First Amendment rights.”
Eastman won’t be just fading into the sunset, though. He said he’ll be finishing his term at the University of Colorado Boulder as a visiting professor. Then, he’ll focus on the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, of which he is the director.