Trial pushed back a day in case against Alaska lawmaker
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The trial in a case alleging that an Alaska lawmaker’s ties to the far-right Oath Keepers group disqualifies him from holding office is set to begin Tuesday after technical and logistical issues prompted a delay.
The lawsuit against Republican Rep. David Eastman and the state Division of Elections was set to be held in Palmer starting Monday, but the courthouse was closed except for emergency matters due to a winter storm that brought heavy snows to the area. When the parties convened online Monday morning, Eastman’s attorney Joe Miller reported connectivity issues.
Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna said if the courthouse is closed Tuesday, the parties will “have to go forward one way or another” with a video conference option.
A founder of the Oath Keepers was convicted last month of seditious conspiracy related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Eastman has said he was in Washington, D.C., that day but did not take part in the riot. Eastman has not been accused of any crimes.
The lawsuit points to a provision in the Alaska constitution stating that no one who “advocates, or who aids or belongs to any party or organization or association which advocates, the overthrow by force or violence of the government of the United States or of the State shall be qualified to hold” public office.