AP

Rep. Scott Perry says FBI agents seized his cellphone

Aug 9, 2022, 4:39 AM | Updated: 4:44 pm

FILE - Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Capitol Hill in Wash...

FILE - Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 28, 2022. Perry says his cellphone was seized Tuesday, Aug. 9, by FBI agents carrying a search warrant. The circumstances surrounding the seizure were not immediately known. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)


              FILE - This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows texts between former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., displayed at a hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, June 23, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Perry says his cellphone was seized Tuesday, Aug. 9, by FBI agents carrying a search warrant. The circumstances surrounding the seizure were not immediately known.  (House Select Committee via AP, File)
            
              FILE - Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 28, 2022. Perry says his cellphone was seized Tuesday, Aug. 9, by FBI agents carrying a search warrant. The circumstances surrounding the seizure were not immediately known. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Scott Perry said his cellphone was seized Tuesday morning by FBI agents carrying a search warrant.

The circumstances surrounding the seizure were not immediately known. Perry, though, has been a figure in the congressional investigation into President Donald Trump’s actions leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Former senior Justice Department officials have testified that Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, had “an important role” in Trump’s effort to try to install Jeffrey Clark — a top Justice official who was pushing Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud — as the acting attorney general.

In a statement Tuesday, Perry said three agents visited him while he was traveling Tuesday with his family and “seized my cell phone.” He called the action “banana republic tactics.”

“They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish,” Perry said. “I’m outraged – though not surprised – that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress.”

The lawmaker, representing Pennsylvania’s 10th District, was cited more than 50 times in a Senate Judiciary report released in October 2021 outlining how Trump’s effort to overturn his election defeat to Joe Biden brought the Justice Department to the brink of chaos and prompted top officials there and at the White House to threaten to resign.

Perry, who has continuously disputed the validity of Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, has said he obliged Trump’s request for an introduction to Clark, then an assistant attorney general whom Perry knew from unrelated legislative matters. The three men went on to discuss their shared concerns about the election, Perry has said.

The Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state, and senior Justice officials dismissed Perry’s claims.

The Senate report outlined a call Perry made to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Rich Donoghue in December 2020 to say the department wasn’t doing its job with respect to the elections. Perry encouraged Donoghue to elicit Clark’s help because he’s “the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this,” the report said.

Perry has said his “official communications” with Justice Department officials were consistent with the law.

The Justice Department’s inspector general conducted a search in June of Clark’s Virginia home.

Perry slammed the Justice Department’s decision to serve him with a warrant as an “unnecessary and aggressive action.”

“My phone contains info 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.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

lily gladstone...

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

‘Oppenheimer,’ Lily Gladstone win at 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards

Gladstone won Saturday and the crowd erupted. Stone, too, stood and vigorously applauded. Her win would be a first for Native Americans.

12 hours ago

Image: An Alaska Airlines passenger jet approaches to land at the Los Angeles International Airport...

Associated Press

Man accused of stabbing another passenger on a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas charged

A man who witnesses say stabbed another passenger on an airline flight in January told authorities he intended to kill the victim.

3 days ago

Image: Dr. Candice Matthews, left, listens as Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds, right, with Darryl Geo...

Associated Press

Judge: Texas school legally punished Black student over hairstyle

A Black high school student's punishment by his Texas district for refusing to change his hairstyle doesn't violate state law, a judge said.

3 days ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner program weeks after panel blowout on flight

Boeing said the head of its 737 program is leaving the company in an executive shake-up weeks after a door panel blew out on a flight over Oregon.

4 days ago

Image: The Alabama State Capitol is seen on May 15, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama....

Associated Press

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’ under state law

Critics say the Alabama embryo ruling may have sweeping implications for fertility treatments.

5 days ago

Image: People take cover during a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bow...

Associated Press

Two men charged with murder at Kansas City Chiefs parade

Minutes after Kansas City Chiefs players spoke at a victory celebration Wednesday, multiple people near the parade route were carried away on stretchers.

5 days ago

Rep. Scott Perry says FBI agents seized his cellphone