(RepublicanInformer.com)- Conservative lawyer John Eastman claimed in a court filing that agents from the FBI seized his phone last week.
On Monday, the election attorney for former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in New Mexico, calling the search and seizure by FBI agents improper. The Department of Justice is apparently stepping up its efforts to find more evidence during its criminal probe of Trump and the events of January 6, 2021.
On the same day that Eastman was searched and had his phone seized, the Office of the Inspector General at the DOJ raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, who was once an official in the Justice Department.
Sources confirmed that search, which wasn’t previously reported, to media outlets this week. The inspector general is responsible for investigation any accusation of crimes committed by employees of the Justice Department. To carry out these investigations, they are able to conduct seizures and searches.
Once they complete their investigations, the office is able to then make referrals to prosecutors for formal criminal charges.
Lawyers who are representing Eastman said that the warrant from the inspector general’s office mentioned they wanted to analyze the contents of the phone. It’s unclear, though, what exactly they are looking for or what the watchdog group’s involvement is in the case.
Clark and Eastman haven’t been charged with any crimes yet, though both have been prominent focuses of different parts of the House special investigating committee’s public hearings.
According to the court filing Eastman made in federal court earlier this week, six federal agents approached him while he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico. He was there having dinner with his wife and one of their friends.
When they approached him, the agents patted him down, and then he was “forced to provide [facial] biometric data to open” his cellphone. He is apparently referring to agents forcing him to unlock his cellphone by using either its facial recognition or fingerprint recognition software.
Eastman, who has an iPhone 12 Pro, said in the court filing that the agents were able to access all the email accounts that he had set up on his phone. He also said that he didn’t want to unlock his phone for the agents, but that they “forced” him to do so. He didn’t specify how they went about doing that.
As part of the federal court filing, he’s asking a federal judge to make the Department of Justice return his phone to him. In addition, he wants the DOJ to be forced to destroy any records or information that they obtained during the search and seizure. He also wants agents to no longer have access to his phone.
The Department of Justice has been focusing recently on obtaining communications as part of their investigations related to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Eastman is just the latest person to be the target of these tactics.