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Federal Agents Seized Phone of John Eastman, Key Figure in Jan. 6 Plan

Federal agents armed with search warrants seized the phone of John Eastman, an attorney who advised former President Donald J. Trump on a key part of the effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election, according to court filing from Mr Eastman on Monday.

The filing, a motion to reclaim government property, said FBI agents in New Mexico, acting on behalf of the Justice Department’s Inspector General, arrested Mr. Eastman as he left a restaurant last Wednesday and confiscated his iPhone. A copy of the warrant that is provided as evidence with the application of Mr. Eastman said the phone would be taken to the inspector general’s forensics lab in Northern Virginia.

The seizure of Mr Eastman’s phone is the latest evidence that the Justice Department is stepping up its criminal investigation into various aspects of Mr Trump’s attempts to stay in power after he was defeated for reelection.

Mr. Eastman, a California law professor, helped develop and promote a plan to justify having Vice President Mike Pence certify electoral college results that marked the victory of Joseph R. Biden Jr. demonstrating, blocking or postponing in the 2020 elections. Mr. Trump and Mr. Eastman pressured Mr. Pence to implement the plan when Mr. Pence chaired a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

Mr. Pence’s refusal to go along helped fuel the violence that overwhelmed the Capitol that day and became a bloody symbol of Mr. Trump’s efforts to undermine the outcome of the election.

Mr. Eastman was also instrumental in advising Mr. Trump to prepare alleged voter lists that support Mr. Trump in key Mr. Biden-won states.

The seizure of Mr. Eastman’s phone appears to have been made the same day federal agents also seized the phone of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who has been central to Mr Trump’s efforts to secure the highest to force the country’s prosecutors to back his false claims of electoral fraud.

Both Mr. Eastman and Mr. Clark were central characters in public hearings this month by the House select committee on January 6. But the search warrants for their phones indicate that the Justice Department is now also interested in communications the two men may have. covered a wide-ranging criminal investigation into Mr Trump’s various attempts to remain in power.

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