John Eastman, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, said in a court filing Monday that federal agents seized his phone last week. File Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA
June 27 (UPI) -- John Eastman, a former attorney for President Donald Trump who urged that Joe Biden's 2020 election be blocked, said in a court filing Monday that federal agents have seized his phone.
Eastman filed a lawsuit in federal court in New Mexico alleging that the search and seizure was improper and requesting that a federal judge force the Justice Department to return his phone, destroy records it had obtained and block investigators from further accessing the device.
The filing states that Eastman's phone was seized on Wednesday as he walked to his car after dining at a restaurant with his wife and a friend.
FBI agents patted Eastman down, seized his phone and "forced" him to unlock it, he said.
"The federal agents identified themselves as FBI agents, but they appeared to be executing a warrant issued at the behest of the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General," the filing states.
A seizure warrant document included in the filing said the phone was to be sent to Washington, D.C., or the Justice Department inspector general's forensic lab in northern Virginia.
Eastman is believed to have helped craft Trump's White House legal strategy to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 Electoral College voting on Jan. 6, 2021.
In February, he told a federal court that 11,000 White House documents should not be seen by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots because of attorney-related privileges.
The alleged seizure came on the same day that federal agents searched the home of former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.