(CBSLA) – Chapman University is facing pressure to fire a professor who spoke at the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C. just hours before violent rioters stormed the Capitol building.
Controversial Chapman University law professor John Eastman appeared on stage with President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at a “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, where they urged his supporters to head to the Capitol.
In response, over 150 Chapman faculty members signed onto a letter calling on the university to fire Eastman.
“Eastman spouted lies about “secret folders” to fire up an angry crowd and stood approvingly next to Rudy Giuliani as he called for ‘trial by combat,’” the letter read. “These conspiratorial claims of a stolen election were the basis of the insurrection.”
However, University President Daniele Struppa issued two statements, one on Friday and a second on Saturday, saying that he will not fire Eastman.
“The manual allows for the termination of faculty who are disbarred, however, that is not the case today,” Struppa wrote in his more recent statement. “The Manual does not allow me to decide on my own that any faculty is a criminal or that they should be disbarred and therefore fired, which is what I am being asked to do. The Manual says that if a jury finds a faculty member to be guilty of a felony, or if they are disbarred, then the university can dismiss them. The university has no right to substitute itself for these formal bodies.”
Pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last Wednesday while the House and Senate were meeting to certify the Electoral College results. The rioters entered the House and Senate chambers and broke into several offices. One of the rioters, a woman from San Diego, was shot and killed by Capitol police and two others died of medical emergencies.
Two Capitol police officers who responded to the breach have also since died.