Washington- A conservative lawyer linked to former President Donald Trump says FBI agents seized his cell phone outside a New Mexico restaurant last week pursuant to a search warrant, according to a lawsuit he filed Monday.
– known for allegedly coming up with a plan to keep Trump in office – said in Monday’s court filing that federal agents approached him with the arrest warrant for any electronic and digital devices on his person. According to an alleged copy of the search warrant that accompanied Eastman’s lawsuit, law enforcement was required to transport the devices to Washington, DC, or to a Justice Department forensic lab in northern Virginia.
Eastman alleged that agents “frisk-searched” him before they “forced him to provide biometrics” to open his iPhone 12 Pro, which contained access to emails that are currently at issue in another lawsuit he filed against the House Select Committee. investigating the Capitol on January 6. attack. He filed Monday’s lawsuit to force the Justice Department to return his phone.
The order was authorized by a federal trial judge in New Mexico on June 17, according to the copy filed Monday.
Eastman spoke at Trump’s “Save America” rally at the Ellipse the morning of January 6 before the riots. therevealed that he was among those who to block the certification of President Biden’s election victory and Eastman is also accused of . The committee investigating the attack summoned him to testify about the events leading up to the attack. and refused to turn over documents and during his statement asserted his right to the Fifth Amendment 146 times.
The panel is still working to obtain hundreds of pages of documents and emails after it issued a subpoena to Chapman University, where Eastman was a law professor and former law school dean. The California judge presiding over that matter ruled in March that Trump “likely” illegally attempted to impede official congressional proceedings on January 6.
“Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to nullify a democratic election, an action unprecedented in the history of the United States,” wrote US District Court Judge David Carter.
In his complaint filed Monday, Eastman said the warrant to seize his phone was too broad and a violation of his constitutional rights.
“The order does not even mention, let alone describe with specificity, any particular crime to which the evidence requested by the order may be relevant, nor does it include information linking the plaintiff’s devices or the information contained therein to said crime.” , said in the lawsuit /.
He later added: “The warrant gives no indication that evidence of any wrongdoing would be found on a cell phone or other electronic device.”
Eastman alleges that he initially requested the warrant “at the beginning” of the search and seizure, but federal agents initially refused.
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, on whose behalf Eastman alleges federal agents said they were acting, declined to comment. The US Attorney’s office in DC also had no comment.
The arrest warrant for Eastman’s phone appeared to have been served.Law enforcement authorities have searched the home of former Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. Clark is believed to be central to efforts by Trump and his allies to delay the certification of the 2020 election results and promote unsubstantiated claims that Biden did not legitimately win the election.
Last week, CBS News learned of police activity at locations connected to people who may have been involved in efforts to use “invalid voters” to reverse President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. Federal agents issued subpoenas to people related with the alleged scheme in Georgia, Virginia and Arizona.