John Eastman, former President Donald Trump’s election attorney, accused the federal government of unlawfully seizing and searching his phone, according to a new court filing Monday.
Eastman alleged in a motion to recover property from the government that FBI agents seized his phone on June 22 while he was leaving a restaurant and refused to provide him with a copy of the search warrant they claimed they had. He further alleged the FBI agents “forced” him to unlock his phone.
Only after his phone was unlocked did the FBI agents provide Eastman with a copy of the search warrant. However, the agents allegedly provided a copy of the search warrant without the supporting affidavit.
Although the federal agents identified themselves as FBI agents, Eastman claimed “they appeared to be executing a warrant issued at the behest of the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).”
Eastman asked a federal judge to order the federal government to return his phone and hold any access to the phone until he could secure confidential information.
The court filing said:
For the foregoing reasons Movant respectfully requests that this court order OIG to return Movant’s property—both the cell phone and “all information” in it, as well as to destroy all copies of any information that has already been retrieved or copied from the device. Movant further requests that any access to the cell phone and its information be stayed until he has a full and fair opportunity to assert and protect his Constitutional rights and the privileged communications of his numerous clients.
Eastman is the latest former Trump adviser to be targeted by the January 6 Committee as part of its investigation into the Capitol riot. In March, the January 6 Committee accused Eastman and Trump of being party of a “criminal conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 election.
In addition, Eastman’s phone was allegedly seized on the same day federal law enforcement officials raided Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffery Clark’s home.
News of Eastman’s allegedly unlawful search and seizure also came as reports emerged accusing the January 6 Committee of manipulating evidence.
Former Trump-era DOJ official Ken Klukowski claimed Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and the committee intentionally cherry-picked one snippet of his testimony that his deposition, taken entirely, contradicts. Klukowski challenged the committee to release his full testimony transcripts.
The January 6 Committee announced on Monday a surprise hearing scheduled for Tuesday, citing “recently obtained evidence,” despite the committee’s move to delay hearings into next month.