BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — John Eastman, a Trump acolyte who advocated overturning the 2020 presidential election results, is no longer a member of the American Political Science Association, a representative for the organization said Thursday.
“I can confirm that John Eastman is not a member of APSA at this time,” Dan Gibson, an APSA spokesperson, said in an email to Nexstar’s WIAT. The organization did not respond to questions about the end of Eastman’s membership and why. A copy of the attorney’s resume released by Congress shows Eastman claimed membership in APSA, the largest professional organization for political scientists, from 2001 until at least 2019.
The APSA statement comes just days after the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol revealed that Eastman had sought the president’s pardon. Trump in the final days of the administration. “I have decided that I should be on the pardon list, if this is still ongoing,” Eastman wrote in an email to Rudy Giuliani, according to the committee.
This isn’t the first time Eastman and APSA have shared headlines. Last year, after the release of Eastman’s six-step plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, a group of nearly 300 political scientists from across the country signed an open letter asking APSA to remove Eastman from his membership. The attorney and former Clarence Thomas clerk was scheduled to take part in two panels at the organization’s annual meeting sponsored by the Claremont Institute, a “sister group” to APSA.
After criticism, APSA moved the panels to a virtual format, a move the Claremont Institute called “gutless”. The Claremont Institute eventually removed the panels, APSA said at the time. Still, many political scientists said the organization hadn’t gone far enough, pointing to two demands: removing Eastman from its membership and the Claremont Institute from its “kindred group” status.
Jennifer Victor, an associate professor of political science at George Mason University, said while there should be a wide range of ideas that are suitable for academic discussion, there are some exceptions. “The marketplace for ideas should be quite creative and widespread,” she said. “But I think it should also be consistent with certain principles. And I think one of those principles is a version of democracy itself. Democracy comes in many, many forms, but I think what Eastman advocates is by no means democracy.
Now, months after that initial controversy, APSA has confirmed that Eastman is no longer a member. But Dave Karpf, a professor at George Washington University who circulated the open letter, still has questions about the Claremont Institute, the conservative think tank that aimed to host Eastman at APSA’s annual conference.
“They are no longer listed on the website and are not on the 2022 schedule,” Karpf said. “I have not, however, heard anything from APSA regarding the termination of their related group status.”