Judge denies John Eastman’s motion to block search of phone seized at January 6 inquest

Judge denies ex-Trump lawyer's request to block search of phone

A federal judge has ruled against an emergency request by former Trump attorney John Eastman (pictured) for the return of his phone or a restraining order to protect it from a search after federal agents seized it last month in a January 6, 2021 investigation into the riot . File photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA

July 16 (UPI) — A federal judge in New Mexico has denied former Trump attorney John Eastman’s emergency request for federal agents to return his phone or desist from searching his phone, which they seized last month while investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol had.

Eastman filed the emergency request earlier this month, based on his allegations in a lawsuit that federal agents violated his constitutional rights when they confiscated his phone and “forced” him to unlock it on June 22 after leaving a restaurant in New Mexico had left, court records show.

Judge Robert Brack ruled against his request for the government to return his phone or issue an injunction to prevent them from searching the phone until the court rules on issues raised in his lawsuit filed June 27.

Brack said in a 12-page statement and order filed Friday that he ruled against Eastman because he failed to establish “a likelihood of success in the merits” of his constitutional claims or “a right to relief from immediate, irreparable harm.” have.

Eastman argued that the agents’ seizure of his phone violated his right to political association.

Brack said that this argument in particular had no “probability of success” because Eastman had “no specific associational interest…

The judge similarly denied his Fourth Amendment request against an excessive and unreasonable search.

He also noted that agents will receive a second warrant before searching his phone, as the investigative team said it needed a “further warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction” before reviewing it.

Eastman had also argued a violation of attorney-client privilege protected by the Sixth Amendment, but Brack said that “Eastman did not reference specific documents protected by the privilege in his email.”

Brack added that prosecutors typically form a “filter team” to protect privileged information.

“Because there is no evidence the government searched the phone or plans to search it without the help of a filtering team, and because the warrant states the phone will not be searched pending further court orders, Eastman is showing it.” not a probability of success for his Sixth Amendment claim,” Brack wrote.

Brack also noted that his Fifth Amendment allegation that agents violated his rights against self-incrimination by forcing him to open his phone “did not show a high probability of success in the matter.”

On June 28, Eastman dropped a separate lawsuit to block the House inquiry committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack from accessing his communications because of attorney-client privilege, a court filing showed. Eastman said he dropped the lawsuit because the committee was only interested in his call logs and was not actively looking for content.

Last month, former advisers to former Vice President Mike Pence testified before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riots, saying Eastman acted as a go-between for former President Donald Trump in his attempts to pressure Pence into pledging set to overthrow the 2020 election.

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