DOJ says it obtained a second search warrant for Eastman’s phone

Federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Wednesday that the Justice Department obtained a second search warrant for the phone of conservative attorney John Eastman, who played a key role in the government’s unsuccessful election theft scheme. former President Trump.

In a filing late last month, Eastman’s attorney Charles Burnham said his phone was seized by the FBI. Burnham wrote that six federal investigators approached Eastman in New Mexico as he left a restaurant where he was dining with his wife and a friend. Burnham said the federal agents identified themselves as FBI agents, but “appeared to be executing a warrant issued at the request of the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General.”

Eastman asked a federal judge to order the DOJ to return his phone, dispose of the recordings he had obtained, and block investigators’ access to them.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors responded to Eastman’s filing late last month challenging the seizure of his phone. In their filing, prosecutors said they got a second warrant on July 12 to search the contents of Eastman’s phone. Prosecutors said Eastman’s phone is currently in northern Virginia and is in the possession of federal DOJ OIG agents.

Prosecutors said the second warrant includes a so-called “screening protocol” to prevent investigators from obtaining potentially privileged information from Eastman’s phone. Eastman’s attorney was briefed on the protocol, according to the filing.

The filing was filed by Matthew Graves, a U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Thomas Windom, a career federal prosecutor who serves as lead investigator in the DOJ’s Jan. 6 investigation.

The search and seizure of Eastman’s phone last month appears to have taken place the same day investigators searched the Virginia home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who attempted to arm the ministry as a tool to interfere with the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory on behalf of former President Trump.

Amid Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 presidential election, Eastman pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to release the 2020 election results. Last March, a federal judge ruled concluded that Eastman and Trump “probably” committed a criminal conspiracy to nullify the Jan. 6 election results.

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