John Eastman, a former conservative election lawyer for former President Donald Trump, takes issue with what he called the “unlawful” search and seizure of his phone by FBI agents last week.
Eastman’s attorneys filed a motion Monday to retrieve the iPhone 12 Pro, force federal agents to erase any data they may have obtained from it, and block further access to the device. The phone was seized on June 22 when FBI agents served Eastman, who allegedly helped Trump develop a legal strategy to undo his 2020 election defeat, with a search warrant as he left a restaurant in New Mexico .
The warrant was issued June 16 by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Eastman’s motion argues that the warrant is “unlawful for at least three reasons.” The warrant that was allegedly issued “at the request” of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ-OIG) was cited as the first reason. The document says officers intended to transport the phone to a DOJ-OIG forensic lab in Virginia following the seizure.
Additionally, Eastman’s attorneys argued that the warrant was “overly broad” and provided “no probable causal connection to any alleged criminal activity” in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The motion alleges an alleged violation of Eastman’s Fifth Amendment rights due to officers forcing him to “testify” by unlocking the phone, while alleged violations of his First and Sixth Amendment rights are also cited.
“[Eastman] respectfully requests this tribunal to order the OIG to return [his] property – both the cell phone and “all information” it contains, as well as to destroy any information already retrieved or copied from the device,” the motion concludes.”[He] further requests that all access to the cellphone and its information be suspended until it has a full and fair opportunity to assert and protect its constitutional rights and the privileged communications of its many customers. »
The seizure of Eastman’s phone came the same day FBI agents raided the home of former DOJ attorney Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump reportedly hoped to install as attorney general to undo the president’s victory Joe Biden in 2020.
Clark called the raid on his home “highly politicized” during an appearance on Fox News a day later, while saying it was part of “a nationwide effort” that included “several states where multiple people were attacked roughly simultaneously for their electronic devices.”
Federal agents also reportedly served subpoenas on GOP officials in Nevada and Georgia around the same time, while top Republicans in Michigan and Pennsylvania also said they were questioned by the FBI.
During a recent MSNBC interview, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who served a three-year federal prison sentence for tax evasion, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress, predicted that the ex -president would soon throw Eastman and Clark “under the bus”. to save his own skin.
“[Trump will say] everything John Eastman or Jeffrey Clark did was done of their own free will. And then, of course, destroy their lives,” Cohen said. “Welcome to the club under the bus.
Newsweek contacted Eastman’s attorney, Charles Burnham, for comment.