Rep. Scott Perry says FBI agents seized his cellphone
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Representative Scott Perry said his cellphone was seized Tuesday morning by FBI agents with a search warrant.
The circumstances surrounding the seizure were not immediately known. Perry, however, has been a figure in the Congressional investigation in the actions of President Donald Trump leading up to the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
Former top Justice Department officials testified that Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, had “a significant role” in Trump’s efforts to try to install Jeffrey Clark – a senior justice official who was pushing Trump’s Baseless Election Fraud Claims — as Acting Attorney General.
In a statement Tuesday, Perry said three officers visited him while he was traveling Tuesday with his family and “seized my cell phone.” He called the action a “banana republic tactic”.
“They made no attempt to contact my attorney, who would have arranged for them to have my phone if they so wished,” Perry said. “I am outraged – but not surprised – that the FBI, under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, is seizing the phone of a sitting congressman.”
The lawmaker, representing Pennsylvania’s 10th district, has been cited more than 50 times in a report on the Senate Judiciary published in October 2021 describing how Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden brought the Justice Department to the brink of chaos and prompted senior officials there and in the White House to threaten to resign.
Video: Scott Perry responds to accusations he asked for forgiveness in July 2022 interview
Perry, who has continually challenged the validity of Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, said he agreed to Trump’s request to be introduced to Clark, then an assistant attorney general whom Perry knew for unrelated legislative matters. The three men then discussed their shared concerns about the election, Perry said.
The Ministry of Justice found no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state, and senior justice officials denied Perry’s claims.
The Senate report describes a call Perry made to Acting Deputy Attorney General Rich Donoghue in December 2020 to say the department was not doing its job when it came to the election. Perry encouraged Donoghue to enlist Clark’s help because he’s “the kind of guy who could really step up and do something about it,” the report said.
Perry said his “official communications” with Justice Department officials were within the law.
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice searched in June of the house of Virginia de Clark.
Perry criticized the Justice Department’s decision to serve him with a warrant as an “unnecessary and aggressive action.”
“My phone contains information about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents and friends,” Perry said. None of this is the government’s business.
The seizure of Scott’s cellphone was first reported by Fox News Channel.