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John Eastman filed request over his seized phone with the ‘wrong court,’ Judge says

John Eastman filed request over his seized phone with the 'wrong court,' Judge says

On Friday, a federal judge in New Mexico denied John Eastman’s request to stop the search of his seized phone and order that any information obtained from it be destroyed, because the request was filed in the wrong court.


The judge said that Washington, D.C., is the proper jurisdiction to make such a decision. The only issue for Senior U.S. District Judge Robert C. Brack to consider, according to a 17-page order, is whether Eastman is suffering harm as a result of his no longer having physical possession of his phone.

John Eastman, the former president’s election attorney claimed that the search and seizure of his phone, which he says was illegal, was harming him.

However, despite the fact that Eastman’s phone was taken in New Mexico, the search for it was permitted due to a warrant that had been approved by a judge in the District of Columbia.

It includes a protocol for a privilege-team, often known as a taint team, to examine Eastman’s phone for any potential evidence protected by the attorney-client privilege, as is customary in DOJ investigations.

Robert C. Brack’s ruling on request filed by John Eastman

In his Friday ruling, Brack stated that Eastman “cites no authority to support a finding that he may collaterally challenge the filter protocol in this district.”

“The court concludes that Eastman has an adequate remedy for any harm resulting from the alleged First Amendment violation—he may submit a proper motion before the court that approved the filter protocol.”


Brack did direct Eastman and DOJ attorneys to “discuss about a reasonable schedule for recovery of the physical phone,” so it wasn’t all bad for Eastman.

Although the Court refuses to grant Eastman relief at this time, Brack stated that “if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, Eastman is free to submit an appropriate motion at a later date.”

Brack rejected Eastman’s argument about privileged material for the same reason he rejected his First Amendment violation claims. Brack said, “Eastman is pressing this issue with the wrong court.”

The judge in New Mexico noted that “if Eastman was concerned that the government would have access to information covered by the work-product doctrine or the attorney-client privilege, he could file a motion for relief in the District of Columbia.”

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FBI agents seized Eastman’s phone in June as he left a restaurant in New Mexico, where he lives.

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