Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives during a floor debate on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, over an appropriations bill during the Legislature’s third special session of the summer. Multiple organizations reported on Wednesday that Eastman is a lifetime member of the far-right organization the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives during a floor debate on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, over an appropriations bill during the Legislature’s third special session of the summer. Multiple organizations reported on Wednesday that Eastman is a lifetime member of the far-right organization the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Data leak shows state rep is member of far-right organization

Wasilla area lawmaker said he joined when Oath Keepers first started.

Leaked information shows an Alaska state representative is a member of a far-right, militant organization, multiple national news organizations reported on Wednesday.

Membership information from far-right websites that leaked last month shows state Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, is a lifetime member of the Oath Keepers, as reported by BuzzFeed News and other organizations.

Elmer Stewart Rhodes founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, following the election of Barack Obama, according to Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups and extremists.

Rhodes has publicly declared falsely that the 2016 election was stolen and characterized the current administration as “communist/Deep State coup.” Oath Keeper affiliates were charged in connection to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The organization’s name comes from the Oath Keepers’ core principle that members vow to uphold the oath they took as law enforcement or military personnel — even if the group’s interpretation of the Constitution is at odds with lawmakers and judges, according SPLC.

Eastman studied law at the U.S. Military Academy, and after graduating was a military police officer stationed at Fort Richardson; served as provost marshal of Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan; was appointed as a military summary court martial judge, and served as the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee anti-terrorism branch chief for the 56th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., according to his Alaska State Legislature biography.

He previously discussed being present at the Jan. 6 rally that led to an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Eastman later told Alaska Public Media he did not witness violence at the Capitol.

BuzzFeed News reported Eastman was “happy to discuss his affiliation” with the Oath Keepers, and he told the outlet he joined the organization when it first started and “will always consider it a privilege to stand with those in the military and first responders who strike to keep their oaths to the Constitution.”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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