Ex-Chapman Dean Eastman who advised Trump says FBI seized his smartphone

John Eastman at Trump rally
John Eastman speaks alongside Rudy Giuliani as Trump supporters gather for the January 6 uprising. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Earlier Chapman University dean of law school John Eastman filed a lawsuit in federal court in New Mexico on Monday, demanding federal investigators return his smartphone, which was seized last week.

Eastman, one of former President Donald Trump’s attorneys who worked to discredit the 2020 election results, said federal agents had issued him a search warrant when he left a restaurant in the state last Wednesday. He said he was forced to unlock the iPhone Pro 12 device.

Eastman said he asked to see the warrant permitting the seizure, but was denied. Then he was “searched” and the phone was seized, he said.

He was eventually given a copy of the search warrant, but no “supporting affidavit referred to therein.”

Eastman said the officers told him they were out of the… FBIbut he said the order appeared to have been issued by the Office of the Inspector General of the Justice Department.

The seizure was unconstitutional for several reasons, Eastman argued, including that it was an “widespread” search and that the Inspector General’s office had no jurisdiction over him, as Eastman never worked for the Justice Department.

Eastman also argued that some of the data on the phone included his work as a lawyer, which would be protected by the privacy privileges of lawyer clients and work products.

The former dean, who was pressured to retire after the January 6 uprising, is in a legal battle with the congressional committee investigating the incident, and news of the phone seizure comes as the committee announced an unexpected hearing on Tuesday with regarding “new evidence”. †

U.S. District Attorney David O. Carter ruled that hundreds of emails requested by the commission were protected by work products and attorney and client privileges, but he said many others Eastman wanted to keep private had to be turned over because federal judges ruled. found there was evidence they were covered by a criminal conspiracy clause that overcomes privacy guarantees.

The criminal conspiracy that Carter cited involved an alleged scheme to establish an alternate set of voters in several states close to election, sparking a dispute that could allow former Vice President Mike Pence to decide and vote for Trump. to wave.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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