Trump's former attorney, John Eastman, calls out Bank of America and USAA for closing accounts - Hindustan Times
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Trump's former attorney, John Eastman, calls out Bank of America and USAA for closing accounts

Apr 17, 2024 09:11 PM IST

John Eastman, a former attorney for former President Donald Trump says Bank of America and USAA closed his accounts without warning.

In a recent turn of events, John Eastman, a former attorney for former President Donald Trump has spoken out after Bank of America and USAA closed his accounts without warning.

FILE - Attorney John Eastman, the architect of a legal strategy aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power, talks to reporters after a hearing in Los Angeles, June 20, 2023. (AP)
FILE - Attorney John Eastman, the architect of a legal strategy aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power, talks to reporters after a hearing in Los Angeles, June 20, 2023. (AP)

What are Eastman's accusations against Bank of America?

Eastman told the Daily Caller that he was "de-banked" twice within a few months by these financial giants due to the backlash he faced for advising Trump during the 2020 election. Despite being federally insured and having received billions in taxpayer bailouts during the global financial crisis, both institutions closed his accounts.

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In September 2023, Bank of America informed Eastman of their decision to close his accounts, as shown in a letter obtained by the Daily Caller. Shortly after, in November, USAA followed suit, notifying Eastman of the closure of his two bank accounts.

Eastman expressed his frustration, saying, "We had all our automatic payments and deposits set up with USAA, so shifting everything to a new bank was a real hassle."

What is USAA's response to sealing accounts?

USAA justified their action citing their "Depository Agreement," which states that they can close accounts without advance notice and may require customers to provide a minimum of seven days' notice to withdraw their funds.

Despite multiple inquiries, both banks declined to provide specific reasons for the account closures. An audio recording of Eastman's call to Bank of America, provided to the Daily Caller, confirms this lack of transparency.

The phenomenon of "de-banking" involves financial institutions denying services to individuals targeted by political activism, often conservatives. Eric Bledsoe, an expert on de-banking, criticized these decisions, noting that banks often withhold their reasons for closing accounts in such cases.

Eastman revealed that he had been using his Bank of America and USAA accounts for personal finances. He and his wife qualified for USAA accounts due to his father-in-law's military service.

While neither bank specified the reasons for closing Eastman's accounts Eastman suspects political motives, saying, “I'm almost certain they either didn't want to do business with me or didn't want regulatory hassles for doing so. Either way, it's rather despicable.”

What charges does John Eastman face?

Last month, Judge Yvette Roland in California recommended disbarment for John Eastman, one of former President Donald Trump's key allies in his unsuccessful efforts to challenge the 2020 election results. The judge concluded that Eastman knowingly presented weak claims of fraud and irregularities in legal documents filed on behalf of Trump.

Judge Roland found that Eastman collaborated with Trump in attempts to overturn the election results. His early lawsuits, which failed to gain momentum, and his efforts to persuade GOP state legislatures to send "alternate" electors to Congress were described as desperate attempts to maintain Trump's hold on power. Roland stated that throughout these actions, Eastman disregarded unfavorable evidence and unquestioningly accepted claims of fraud or misconduct, thereby undermining confidence in the election results.

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