A former FBI official said federal agents seizing the phone of former President Donald Trump’s election attorney John Eastman could give them a “great degree of visibility” into how Eastman communicated about the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Federal agents had a warrant and took the device last week as Eastman, the attorney who has become a focus among the Jan. 6 committee hearings, left a restaurant.
The attorney initially filed a lawsuit requesting that the Justice Department return his iPhone, however, he backed out of the efforts on Tuesday, according to Politico.
Eastman, in a court filing, claimed that he’d “been assured” that the Jan. 6 committee only sought records of phone calls as opposed to messages from the device, the news outlet reported.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in an appearance on CNN, told anchor Wolf Blitzer that the agents’ effort to retrieve the phone were “unconventional” but, he said, it’s an important effort for agents to make.
“The reason getting your hands on the phone is so important right now is because we know that Mr. Eastman and others involved in this conspiracy utilized encrypted messaging platforms...,” McCabe said.
“So this could potentially give the prosecutors a great degree of visibility into Eastman’s actual communications with other people who may have been involved in the conspiracy to overturn the election.”
You can watch McCabe’s appearance on CNN below.