The FBI last week seized the cellphone of John Eastman, election attorney for former President Donald Trump, according to a court filing by Eastman, who is seeking the return of his phone and for the FBI to destroy any data retrieved from it.
According to a filing by Eastman in federal court in the District of New Mexico on Monday, Eastman called the action an “unlawful search and seizure,” saying the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General had no jurisdiction over him, the warrant did not fully describe the items to be seized, and the action violated his Fifth and First Amendment rights, as well as Sixth Amendment right to counsel and right to privacy.
According to the filing, Eastman was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on Wednesday when about six federal agents approached him, saying they had a search warrant for his iPhone 12 Pro. He asked to see the warrant, but he said they refused.
Had they done so, he argues, he would have been able to point out several “constitutional infirmities” at the outset making the warrant void.
Instead, he said they “forced” him to unlock the phone and gained access to his emails, only showing him the warrant afterward.
Eastman was not only Trump’s election lawyer, but was one of the speakers at the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal Rally, and the House Jan. 6 Select Committee has demanded to see his emails.
The seizure of his phone came on the same day that federal agents raided the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, whom the committee has accused of trying to work to overturn the election of Democrat Joe Biden. The then-leadership of the department testified they refused to participate when they say Trump urged them to say the election was stolen.