Judge says Rep. Eastman’s eligibility to serve in Legislature will be on trial due to membership in Oath Keepers

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David Eastman

On Thursday, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna said the trial against Rep. David Eastman’s eligibility to hold office must go on. The judge indicated he thinks Eastman is disqualified from serving because he belongs to the a group called the Oath Keepers. By extension, Oath Keepers is being put on trial as a group dedicated to overthrowing the government.

On Dec. 12, the case against Eastman and Oath Keepers, will be heard in Anchorage. McKenna ruled that whatever the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, if Eastman wins he can’t be seated if the jury agrees with the judge. It’s the kind of case that most likely will be appealed to a higher court, and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court, over freedom of association and free speech issues. The matter could take months or years.

Oath Keepers is a social organization that the mainstream media and groups such as Southern Poverty Law Center describe as a “far-right anti-government militia whose members claim to be defending the Constitution of the United States.”

The group has as many as 35,000 members who are primarily those who have already, in their capacity as a sworn officer, taken an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Founded in 2009 by former Army paratrooper Elmer Stewart Rhodes, some of its members were present at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the date that the mainstream media and Democrats say there was an insurrection against the government.

The federal trial for seditious conspiracy against Rhodes and four other members of the Oath Keepers who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 incursion into the U.S. Capitol will go forward on Sept. 27, and is expected to last six weeks, but will more likely last months, as appeals are filed.

Rep. Eastman was at the U.S. Capitol on that Jan. 6, along with tens of thousands of Americans. Like all but about 100-200 of them, he just stood around outside and waved flags with his friends. He never went inside the Capitol. But it’s his membership in the Oath Keepers that opponents say is what disqualifies him from holding elected office in Alaska, as they say it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Eastman last took an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution on Jan. 19, 2021, two weeks after the Jan. 6, so-called insurrection. That was after his most recent reelection to the Alaska State House.

Around the country, Oath Keepers serve in public office, as police officers, and in other capacities.

The question that Judge McKenna says is legitimate for trial is whether Eastman’s membership in Oath Keepers itself is a violation of the Alaska State Constitution, which says that if you advocate the overthrow of the government, you can’t serve in the Alaska Legislature. His evidence seems to be the descriptions given by far-left organizations and the mainstream media. And the experts brought in by the plaintiffs, including Randall Kowalke of Wasilla, who last ran for office against Republican Sen. Mike Shower.

Kowale has brought in two university-related terrorism experts to support his case that Eastman is part of Oath Keepers, and that Oath Keepers is a government overthrow group.

Oath Keepers doesn’t appear to have a website and doesn’t appear to be active as of this writing.

93 COMMENTS

  1. “Oath Keepers is a social organization that the mainstream media and groups such as Southern Poverty Law Center describe as a “far-right anti-government militia whose members claim to be defending the Constitution of the United States.””

    How can one be anti-government if you’re defending the Constitution?

    Case dismissed.

    • Really, the judge’s photo should be at the top of the story, not Rep. Eastman.

      Make the judge issuing the ruling the story and make him recognizable to the public.
      Tired of these stories ‘a federal judge’ does X, Y or Z, and preserves his anonymity.

      Name and shame, make the judge the focus. Hard to remove them if they aren’t famous!

  2. I’d like a second opinion from someone outside Alaska. It may be so, but I want to hear it from someone who isn’t biased or an AK Democrat

    Our judiciary is every bit as corrupt as our legislature.

    • Oh yeah. What do you think made Palin quit? Then she sicks Dave Parker on the Alaska Judicial Council because he was ordered to
      “keep foxes out of the henhouse”? Whatever that even means. I think it’s got something to do with big money. It’s the only thing that breaks the laws, and then pads the judges, who claim to uphold it.

    • Quite a few states are dealing with similar situations regarding serving members of government who avow idenity with Oath Keepers.

  3. This subjective ruling is an extreme abuse of discretion and the beyond the bounds of a reasonable judge. That being said, in preparation for a probable hike up to the Supreme Court, every organization and every affiliation by every Democrat in Alaska politics is now fair game for investigation and strict scrutiny. Let the fairness games begin. Thanks for opening this political door, Judge McKenna.

  4. I’m no fan of Eastman. At all. He’s a grandstanding troll with a constituency of one. Himself.

    I think we’d be better off if he was on Mars.

    I want this examined carefully because the process and concept is important. Not the arrogant fool who’s under scrutiny.

  5. So members of a monopoly of oath-swearing law sayers, The BAR Association (British Accreditation Registry?), is privileged (by the UK?) to render judgments regarding who may be elected to some sort of “representative” , “guaranteed republican” form of government from sea to shining sea in the US? All hail admiralty law forever in these somewhat united fifty states I guess?

    • Notice that footage of the Queen’s funeral music, that played, that was quickly cut off and go to other news? Gee. Sounds like the US National anthem. Now why are we copy catting that? Oh. Right. The great experiment. Invade a country. Kill the indigenous peoples, and then do a little more battling, just for good measure. Ok. Surrender.
      Now. This is how this country will be developed.

  6. Keep fighting Mr. Eastman.
    Being a extreme supporter of the US Constitution not ok, but being a Marxist idealist & an outward socialist politician is fine & supported by most of America’s journalists. I cry for future generations & the morally bankrupt poverty they will live in. God help us.

  7. ‘https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/09/exclusive-10-facts-dozens-federal-operatives-infiltrated-trump-crowds-january-6th/

    The above link will point out the government plot to label innocent Americans, insurrectionists. What is on trial here is not Rep. Eastman, it is the U.S. Constitution and your 1st Amendment rights. They have found a leftist judge on the Deep State payroll that will use a hung jury to convict Eastman of a crime without evidence. You can’t convict someone of a crime by association, you must have direct evidence of which there is none. I would encourage everyone that can, to financially help Dave Eastman. Because if they can convict a man without evidence of a crime, they will use this case to remove anyone for any reason. The judge should have thrown this out, which tells you the type judge he is.

  8. How do you know the nation is now a Marxist S-hole? Being loyal to the US Constitution is now considered disloyalty. The Judge should be impeached and shipped to North Korea.

  9. I thought the US Constitution expressly delivered authority to the legislative leg of the republic not the judicial branch or leg of our republic. We have the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch expressed in the US Constitution. These authorities are not amorphous. They do not morph around in our guaranteed form of republican government. If congress shall make no law no single member of one leg, the judiciary, has authority to change jurisdiction by “Mandate”. To change our form of government an Article V Constitutional Convention process is the due process. Why is this not known in Alaska?

  10. Sarah Palin: Do it until the courts say that you can’t. Welp. It’s going to start biting them all in the a–. And soon.

  11. “……The judge indicated he thinks Eastman is disqualified from serving because he belongs to the a group called the Oath Keepers…….”
    How can this be? Has Oathkeepers been convicted as a group? Over the course of American history, thousands of organizations have been either designated or ruled as illegal in one way or another, and always as a result of criminal activity. As far as I know, this has not been the case with Oathkeepers. Even if some members or founder Rhoades are convicted of a crime, how does that incriminate everybody associated? It is the group’s tenets or activities that incriminate it.
    Since BLM co-founder Melina Abdullah was arrested on suspicion of battery against a police officer, and a federal jury sided with the city of Los Angeles on the arrest, and since Memphis BLM founder Pamela Moses was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for illegally voting, can we rest assured in Alaska that any and all elected officials with any association with BLM will be removed from office?

      • “What legislators are dues-paying members of BLM?……”
        No dues necessary. Just a single contribution will suffice.

        “…….What members of BLM have been convicted of seditious conspiracy?”
        None…….yet. Just like no members of Oathkeepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy. But wait! Doesn’t a BLM chapter founder convicted of illegal voting count as seditious? And don’t financial crimes of BLM chapter founders taint the non-profit? Any such convictions of Oathkeepers members? At all?

        • Check out the Oath Keeper who plead guilty to it William Todd Wilson. Then check Brian Ulrich who also pled guilty to sedicious conspiracy.

    • “It is the group’s tenets or activities that incriminate it.“ Exactly Reggie. Review the role of Oath Keepers in the domestic terrorism attack on January 6.

      • “……..Review the role of Oath Keepers in the domestic terrorism attack on January 6.”
        There was no domestic terrorism attack on January 6th, Lucinda.

        • “Typical tourist visit” then? How about “legitimate political discourse.”? Those are true labels from Republicans.

          What would you call January 6?

          • “……..What would you call January 6?”
            A very large but low intensity riot. No fires, but a bunch of broken windows. The only fatality being one of the rioters, who was completely unarmed.
            Compared that to the repeated riots in Portland where the federal courthouse was repeatedly firebombed (while federal officials were inside) by an organized terrorist group (officially designated so) where not a single rioter lost his/her life despite being attacked over 50 times. Sorry if I don’t get excited over your alleged revolution, but I’ve just experienced too many riots to wet my pants over yours.

    • As usual, Lucinda, you have it exactly backwards.
      .
      How do you face living from day to day, being both so arrogant and so ignorant?
      Do you have even an iota of self-reflection, humility, honesty or self-doubt?
      No, probably none of that, because your hateful, intolerant, and rigidly ideological, quasi-religious zealotry is all that you radical leftist extremists have to motivate you. What a sad and pathetic existence — particularly as your insanity and your evil impacts society at large, and not just yourselves.

    • All fun and games until they use this tactic against your liberals/progressives/democrats etc.. Then you all will be howling at the moon how this tyranny and democracy is being stepped on.

    • We are NOT a democracy!(for the umpteenth time)
      The first amendment guarantees free speech, especially political speech and free association. This is prosecution by association and simply a malicious attempt to get rid of Mr. Eastman, by a political rival.
      Mr. Eastman is entitled to his opinion without passing a litmus test from some state office. Who gets to decide, what loyalty means and who is allowed to run for office??? The voters decide! Not the state or the courts. This is an over-reach and violates Mr. Eastman’s civil rights.

  12. Nice that activist judges are allowed to serve in a capacity not outlined in their job description. Impartiality is a word that they can neither define or spell. Hilarious that the “… Southern Poverty Law Center describe (Oath Keepers) as a ‘far-right anti-government militia whose members claim to be defending the Constitution of the United States.’ ” The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-left anti-democracy institution whose goal is to rewrite and/or destroy the Constitution.

  13. Epoch times has an informative documentary about Jan 6th. It shows Oath Keepers being asked by Capitol Police for help, which they did.
    Contrary to Kowalke’s Atty. Fletcher parroting of the false “multiple deaths” narrative, it reports that Ashli Babbitt who was capped by a Capitol Police officer is the only one killed that day.

    • Associated Press September 24 2022

      Convinced the White House had been stolen from Donald Trump, Stewart Rhodes exhorted his followers to action.

      “We must now … refuse to accept it and march en-mass on the nation’s Capitol,” Rhodes declared.

      Rioters temporarily halted the certification of Biden’s victory by sheer force, pummeling police officers in hand-to-hand fighting as they rammed their way into the building

      “You’ve got to go there and you’ve got to make sure that he knows that you are willing to die to fight for this country,” Rhodes told his people

      Rhodes had instructed Oath Keepers to be ready, if asked, to secure the White House perimeter and “use lethal force if necessary” against anyone, including the National Guard,

      “Patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming,” Rhodes wrote.

      “I just want to fight,” Rhodes said

      • From the same AP article:
        “…….Rhodes’ lawyers have signaled that their defense will focus on his belief that Trump would take that action.
        “When he believed that the President would issue an order invoking the Insurrection Act, he was prepared to follow it. When that invocation did not come, he did precisely nothing,” Rhodes lawyers wrote in court documents.
        “The Government would like this Court to believe that is sedition, when in fact, it is the opposite. It is loyalty to an oath taken in defense of the Country……..”
        And since Oathkeepers members did not take any martial measures (including deadly force, which one agent of the Capitol Police clearly did agains one unarmed woman), the statement of the defense is supported in fact.

    • By whose standard, Mark??? Yours?
      Once you start quantifying speech and association, our republic is lost, as the mob will silence ANY dissent. The model of America was to allow all opinions to be voiced and arguments to be made to find the solution that works for most. Now inconvenient facts and opinions are labeled as “misinformation” and suppressed, instead of respectfully assessed for their contribution and value. People who disagree with the current way the country is run, are called “extremists” and put on notice…..

  14. The only way Eastman will get a fair trial is if it’s in the Mat-Su which he represents. The Dems own the judiciary as this ruling shows and all the political trials that are in cities where 90+% votes are for democrats result in convictions for conservatives and exoneration for the dems. These juries vote their party in these trials. When are we going to wise up the democrats are using our legal system that is stacked in their favor to cancel conservatives? We should have learned this with the Ted Stevens trial. His trial should have been in Alaska. Move these politically driven trials so a true jury of your peers can render justice.

  15. Am I way off base here?

    If Eastman wins but is subsequently judged disqualified to hold office, and this judge says the win will default to the second place candidate, doesn’t that mean that this judge has just overturned our election laws? Because the law describes in detail how the counting will be performed, who will be determined to be the winner, and when that winner will be sworn in. This judge has preemptively overruled all of that and rendered the will of the people null and void. They can’t even hold a second election!

  16. So, the judge says this “The judge indicated he thinks Eastman is disqualified from serving because he belongs to a group called the Oath Keepers” before a jury is even seated. Doesn’t this go against everything our judicial system stands for?? How can a jury be impartial now, when the judge says he thinks David Eastman is disqualified?? Maybe this judge needs to be investigated. I hope Mr. Eastman is appealing this to the State Supreme Court, then onto the federal courts hopefully landing right to the Supreme court docket.

  17. How are the Oath Keepers any different from BLM, Antifia, the Oregon Anarchists, or even the Teacher’s Union? If anything, they are less destructive and corrupt. BLM has siphoned millions and instead of helping the black communities, a privileged few bought mansions. Antifa and the Anarchists burned and looted to no end in 2020, and they were active participants in the Jan. 6th melee (it was not an insurrection). If anything, Democrats should all be ineligible.

      • Kenai: How pro-America is a violent insurrection against our constitution: “We must now … refuse to accept it and march en-mass on the nation’s Capitol,” Rhodes declared.

        Rioters temporarily halted the certification of Biden’s victory by sheer force, pummeling police officers in hand-to-hand fighting as they rammed their way into the building

        Associated Press September 24 2022

        • Lucy, a commonly heard chant by those who attend BLM and ANTIFA get togethers which include actual murder, mayhem, arson and destruction of property goes something like, ” F*(& THE USA, EVERY CITY EVERY TOWN, BURN IT DOWN”.
          Of course these are just a group of folks expressing their opinions and exercising their right of free speech, not at all like this hideous Eastman devil.

  18. Another reason to have a constitutional convention. The way judges are selected primarily by the lawyers and one judge needs to change. Let the people have the say in who judges them.

  19. Also Don’t forget democrat logic when it pertains to stuff like this. When a Republican/Conservative does it, its in the name of tyranny. When a Democrat/Liberal does it, its in the name of Democracy!

  20. NRA members and MAGA Republicans are next on the list to be labeled domestic terrorists and be barred from office and possibly the right to vote. The anarchists, Dems and RINO establishment types are working together to disenfranchise a large portion of the electorate they don’t agree with.

  21. This is why we need to change the state constitution to alter the way judges are selected. This idiot is a total partisan and should not have ever been put on the bench, but as political as he is, the AKSC is even worse. Alaskans have to have the guts to open the constitution or they will continue to undo whatever positive reform we get, by the use of their partisan, political and corrupt judiciary.

  22. The Southern Poverty Law Center, despite its lofty name, is a fascist organization that resorts to legal bullying against anyone who questions their political beliefs. In a just world they would find themselves criminally prosecuted for legal malfeasance, slander & defamation.

  23. This judge needs to be impeached YESTERDAY!!! But alas . . . the cowards in the Legislature will never find the will or moral courage to do such a thing. And most of them are so small and petty, that they’d rather see the Republic fall than help Eastman, whom they loathe.

  24. David Eastman is a traitor to the constitution, not because of the Oath Keeper membership, but because of his vote to steal our PFDs

    • Jon, I get that you are not happy with Mr. Eastman on his PFD votes, but how exactly does that make him a traitor to our constitution?? In your way of thinking the greatest traitor to our constitution would be Bill Walker and our supreme court, yet they betrayed the people not our founding document. Words matter!

    • Well Jon, using this logic to convict a man would mean almost every leftist politician in Juneau needs to go before this bought off judge because they don’t want the people to get a PFD. They want to abuse their authority to use the money for their pet projects that have nothing to do with helping Alaskans. Please think about what your saying.

  25. Until such a point in time is reached where the Alaska judiciary decides to follow the US and AK constitutions, perhaps it is time to ignore that “branch” of government. We the people should be directing the government as to what we want, not the other way around. When the major of citizens have had enough and decide to push back, the abuse will likely stop.

  26. Remember when the ACLU was so committed to freedom of speech that they defended members of the Nazi Party USA in their march through Skokie, Illinois? My, how these radical leftist extremists have fallen.

  27. I downloaded and read the complaint filed by Kowalke that is the basis for this trial. In typical fashion it combines the truth (Eastman is a member of the Oath Keepers) with an allegation (Oath Keepers as a group advocate for the violent overthrow of the government) to conclude that group membership equals an intention to overthrow the government. The remainder of the complaint is just more of the same dishonest combining of the truth with accusations where none of the provable facts, individually or in total, support disqualifying Eastman from public office. Maybe the 2021 leadership actually did support a violent overthrow of the government on January 6th but that hasn’t been proven and the actions and intentions of ten individual members doesn’t condemn the thousands of other members who, like Eastman, stand by the oath that every elected official must take to uphold the Constitution rather than to overthrow it. We’re living in a time when accusation seems to be enough to condemn someone. Before we throw Eastman out of public office let’s judge him on his merits instead of judging him on what other people who just happen to be members of a common organization are accused but not proven of doing or, maybe, next time you’ll be the one trying to defend yourself against the malicious gossip, rumors and accusations coming from those who dislike you. Remember that no one has proven that January 6th was an insurrection or that the Oath Keepers want to overthrow the government – accusation isn’t truth until it’s proven.

    • Associated Press September 24 2022

      Convinced the White House had been stolen from Donald Trump, Stewart Rhodes exhorted his followers to action.

      “We must now … refuse to accept it and march en-mass on the nation’s Capitol,” Rhodes declared.

      Rioters temporarily halted the certification of Biden’s victory by sheer force, pummeling police officers in hand-to-hand fighting as they rammed their way into the building

      “You’ve got to go there and you’ve got to make sure that he knows that you are willing to die to fight for this country,” Rhodes told his people

      Rhodes had instructed Oath Keepers to be ready, if asked, to secure the White House perimeter and “use lethal force if necessary” against anyone, including the National Guard,

      “Patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming,” Rhodes wrote.

      “I just want to fight,” Rhodes said

  28. Oath keepers in my opinion is a simple bell ringer for the turbulence of current times. It is completely obvious that our constitution has been under attack for the last 30 years with great intensity. The gigantic federal government, the political travesties, the election scandal, Supreme Court “legislating”, the list goes on and on. Obviously a strong dichotomy exists and widens daily between those who are simple constitutionists and those who have little regard for it!! Something is going to happen and it may split this country into several entities!! If that happens the US will suddenly become a third rate nation instead of a world changer!! Eastman is no more an insurrectionist than you or I. I was at a gun show a few years back and there was an Oath Keeper both there and I believe a local person recruiting for the them. He appeared quite sincere and I gathered that he was speaking to me as a military veteran and former officer. I could have joined without any difficulty but I didn’t , not sure why since I’m an “ organization” guy and my list is lengthy. Maybe there was some cost or I just couldn’t justify the expense of membership or I just put it off for later. For me it wouldn’t have been much different than joining the American Legion or Elks or a local civic organization. Violent overthrow of the government was not suggested or even hinted at as I recall.

    • “……Something is going to happen and it may split this country into several entities!! If that happens the US will suddenly become a third rate nation instead of a world changer!!…….”
      If that happens, North America will resemble Europe, with multiple powers constantly vying for continental hegemony again. A continent under repeated and unending wars, like Vlad trying to consume Ukraine and the Baltic states again in order to control the pinch point accesses to Moscow from the west.
      The entire point of the War Between the States has been lost amid the racial wars of the 20th Century; the union has to be preserved, or we will suffer the fate of Europe; eternal war.

  29. While I don’t always agree with politics or politicians. Elections are about constituents being allowed to choose their elected representative. Seems as though here in Alaska we now have a judge that believes he has the authority to override the voters will and has ruled that if one “specific”representative is re-elected to the House of Representatives. The representative can not be sworn in, per the judges court ruling.
    Can any Alaskan see a better reason too not hold a constitutional convention? The judicatory branch of government is out of control! And this judge should be removed from the bench for his attempt at influencing the legislative branch of government. Or at least be reprimanded on ethics violations under the administrative ethics violations. As the voters voices should be squashed if the representative in the Mat Su valley wins this up coming election. What really shocks me the most, is whether other legislators like him or not. Understand that this judges action is setting a ground breaking path for the judiciary branch to do this again in the future against other legislators.

  30. Note to Judge McKenna: Eastman’s constituency elected him and unless you order the Voting Machines opened up and prove that he was Selected not Elected, Eastman is the Elected Representative until he is voted out.
    Signed,
    We The People

    • Note to AK 907. Amendment 12 section 4 of the state constitution was voted in before constituents voted in Eastman. You may also want tolook at Amendment 14 section 3 for the US constitutional law regarding such.

  31. 🖕this pitiful excuse for a fair minded Jurist we entrust we have chosen to stand in judgment of us all.
    Impeachment is the only suitable answer for this guy.

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