U.S. District Judge Robert Brack dismissed Eastman’s case for emergency court aid in an opinion Friday. Eastman had asked the court to block federal investigators from using the contents of his phone in their investigation.
Brack validated the court-approved warrant that allowed the FBI to take and unlock Eastman’s phone when officers approached him outside a restaurant in New Mexico last month.

The judge noted that the Justice Department said it would get a second warrant before searching the phone. It is unclear whether the DOJ has taken this step.

The department typically sets up what’s called a “screening team” when it comes to documents seized from attorneys or that might be privileged.

“Because there is no evidence that the government has searched the phone or plans to do so without the assistance of a screening team, and because the warrant specifies that no search of the phone will take place Until further court order, Eastman does not show a likelihood of success” on any of his constitutional arguments, the judge wrote.

Brack continued, “The Court relies heavily on the warrant’s assertion that the investigative team will not examine the contents of the phone until they seek a second warrant.”

The judge said federal investigators are expected to notify the court later this month of their handling of the phone, and Eastman can still make legal arguments in federal court in New Mexico.

Brack also rejected Eastman’s argument that his communications could be protected under the First Amendment. “The government’s interest in investigating the January 6 attacks on the Capitol is substantial,” the judge said.