Federal agents seized the personal phone of John Eastman, one of the alleged orchestrators of President Donald Trump’s campaign to discredit the 2020 election, according to a new report.

FBI agents executed a search warrant to collect Eastman’s phone as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico last Wednesday, the New York Times reported, citing a court document filed by Eastman Monday.

The phone was turned over to the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General and transported to the department’s forensic lab in Northern Virginia, according to Eastman’s filing, a motion to recover his property from the government.

Investigators allege that Eastman, a conservative law professor who served as an advisor to Trump during his presidency, was the “architect” of Trump’s campaign of election fraud claims and attempt to overturn the outcome of the election on Jan. 6, 2021.

The probe into Eastman’s phone shows that the Justice Department is escalating its criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to hold onto the presidency.

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Chapman University law professor John Eastman stands at left as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani speaks in Washington at a rally in support of President Donald Trump, called the "Save America Rally."
Eastman (left) stands beside former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as he speaks in Washington at a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021.
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Ahead of the investigation, a White House lawyer warned Eastman to obtain a “great f–king” defense lawyer in a phone call the day after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“[Eastman] started to ask me about something dealing with Georgia and preserving something potentially for appeal, and I said to him ‘are you out of your f–king mind?,’ ” lawyer Eric Herschmann previously told the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

“I said ‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition.’ I said ‘I don’t want to hear any other f–king words coming out of your mouth no matter what, other than orderly transition,’ ” he continued in a recorded message.

“Eventually he said ‘orderly transition.’ I said ‘good John. Now I’m going to give you the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life: get a great f–king criminal defense lawyer, you’re going to need it.’ And then I hung up on him.”

Investigators have previously asked a judge to force Eastman to release his email messages connected to the conspiracy. They said Trump evoked his advice as he egged on supporters to stop the certification of his election loss at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Eastman allegedly disparaged then-Vice President Mike Pence for upholding the law that afternoon — even as he became aware that an armed mob had breached the Capitol and threatened violence against Pence.

Federal agents have also seized the phone of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, another central figure in Trump’s disinformation campaign.


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