Trump-affiliated lawyer pushing Pence to reverse election says federal agents confiscated his phone

John EastmanA Trump-affiliated lawyer, who wrote a memo urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to reverse the 2020 election results, filed in a court Monday that federal agents confiscated his phone last week.

In papers filed in federal court In New Mexico, Eastman said he was stopped last week in New Mexico by federal agents who executed a search warrant and confiscated his phone. He said on Wednesday evening he was stopped by FBI agents as he was on his way to his car after having dinner at a restaurant with his wife and a friend. Agents patted Eastman on the back, confiscated his phone and “forced” him to unlock it, he said.

The court filing said the warrant allowed the seizure of “any electronic or digital device—including cell phones, USB devices, iPads and computers identified in the affidavit—and all information on such devices.” Eastman is demanding the return of his phone.

NBC News has sought comment from the Justice Department.

CNN first reported Court filing Monday.

federal agent same day search warrant executed at home of virginia Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who, like Eastman, played a major role in this month’s January 6 committee hearing. “They took all the electronics out of my house,” Clark said on Fox News last week.

Eastman’s lawsuit states that federal agents at first refused to show him the warrant, and when they finally doneThis indicated that his phone was taken by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

According to Eastman’s filing, the warrant said, “After seizing the device, law enforcement intends to take the device to a DOJ-OIG forensic laboratory in Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia.”

the inspector general Website says that the office is “investigating the role and activity of the DOJ and its constituents in preparing for and responding to events at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

Eastman argues that the seizure of his assets was “unlawful” because he did not work for the Justice Department and because the Inspector General is empowered to “initiate, conduct and supervise” only those within the Justice Department. .

Legal experts said the Inspector General can and does conduct criminal investigations and can follow up on evidence wherever he goes. Experts said that in this case, agents had to convince a federal judge that there was probable cause to believe that a crime was committed by getting the judge to sign the warrant.

“The inspector general has to coordinate jurisdiction with the FBI on criminal investigations of public corruption by DOJ officers,” said Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general.

The search warrant for Eastman appears to be the result of an Inspector General of Inquiry. Michael Horowitz Announced in January 2021, three days after The New York Times First informed of To what extent Clark sought to help President Donald Trump use the Justice Department to advance his bogus claims of election fraud.

Clark was a top Justice Department official at the time of the January 6, 2021 riots. According to testimony Clark was an ardent supporter of Trump’s election conspiracy theories and the likes of Trump to act as attorney general during his presidency days, before a House committee investigated the rebellion last week. Trump later backed the plan after leading the Justice Department threatened to leave Collectively if they were given the top rank.

At a committee hearing this month, Pence’s attorney at the time, Greg Jacob, testified that Eastman requested the vice president It would be illegal to reject voters from contesting states to reverse the election on January 5, even after accepting the day before they did so.

Eastman also included an email Eastman sent to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani after January 6 at the congressional hearing, which read, “I have decided that I should be on the pardon list, if he is still in the works.”

Ryan J. Reilly And Daniel Barnes contribution,