Republican Rep. Scott Perry now says he is NOT the target of a federal probe after FBI agents confiscated his phone while he was with his family
- The FBI delivered subpoenas and sought information from multiple individuals, sources told PennLive
- Republican Rep. Scott Perry says that the FBI confiscated his cellphone one day after FBI agents raided former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home
- Perry told Fox News that agents made no attempt to contact his lawyers
- The congressman said that ‘these kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every citizen’
- He is a loyal Trump ally and an original member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus
Perry, whose phone was snatched by federal agents one day after they raided Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago property, said late Wednesday night that he’d been informed he was a witness, not the target, to the investigation.
‘In a discussion with the DOJ (federal Department of Justice), my attorneys were informed that I’m not a target of its investigation. I’ve directed them to cooperate with the Justice Department in order to ensure that it gets the information to which it’s entitled, but to protect information to which it’s not – including communications that are protected under the speech and debate clause of the United States Constitution,’ he said through a campaign spokesperson.
Members of Congress are shielded by the Constitution from prosecution for their political views by the executive, meaning that it is unlikely he could be charged for his objections to Pennsylvania‘s 20 electoral college votes for President Biden on January 6, 2021.
Meanwhile the FBI paid visits to multiple Republicans in the Pennsylvania House and Senate Wednesday to look for information on Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry and his scheme to install alternate electors in 2020, according to a report.
The bureau delivered subpoenas and sought information from multiple individuals, sources told PennLive, after his phone was confiscated by agents while he was at an airport with his family and after Mar-a-Lago was raided.
Some were explicitly told they were not the target of the investigation, the report states, and it seems the bureau was looking for the GOP members to assist their investigation.
The FBI and Department of Justice have not released a public statement on the raid or provided reasoning for searching Trump’s Florida estate, but were ordered by a judge Wednesday to respond to motions to unseal the warrant they used.
‘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,’ Perry said in a statement to Fox News on Tuesday.
‘My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.’
Perry said that while he and his family were traveling earlier Tuesday, he was approached by three FBI agents who handed him a warrant and seized his cellphone.
Republican Rep. Scott Perry says that the FBI confiscated his personal cellphone one day after FBI agents raided former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home
Perry was with his family when agents approached him and confiscated his phone. It is believed the investigation is linked to the efforts to overturn the election
‘They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish,’ he said.
Perry, a loyal Trump ally, is an original member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and took over as the group’s leader at the beginning of the year.
He was part of a scheme in Pennsylvania to install fake electors and overturn the certification of President Joe Biden’s win.
The Jan. 6 committee claimed Perry is one of five Republicans who allegedly sought a pardon for their role in attempting to overturn the election, but Perry has denied ever doing so.
While Perry’s phone was taken through a warrant – which would have required the approval of a magistrate judge – the subpoenas handed out to Pa. lawmakers did not require the review of a judge. Still, the lawmakers are required to comply unless they take the matter to court and the subpoena is quashed.
The confiscation of Perry’s phone comes just one day after FBI agents descended on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida in what Perry called in his statement an ‘unnecessary and aggressive action.’
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was among members of the GOP who led the backlash against the FBI’s actions against Perry
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022 in New York City
The FBI raided Trump’s home one day before seizing Perry’s phone and two days before subpoenaing Pa. lawmakers
‘As with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys,’ he stated.
‘These kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every Citizen — especially considering the decision before Congress this week to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to further persecute law-abiding Citizens.’
The FBI raid on Monday was related to Trump’s removal of classified documents from the White House and not the Department of Justice’s investigation into January 6, The New York Times reported.
Mar-a-Lago, Trump said, ‘is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.’
‘After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,’ Trump said.
The confiscation of Perry’s phone comes just one day after FBI agents descended on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in what Perry called in his statement an ‘unnecessary and aggressive action’
Trump later put out a campaign-style video warning that ‘we are a nation that has weaponized its law enforcement against the opposing political party, like never before.’
Trump continues to drop a series of not-so-subtle hints that he plans to run for president again in 2024.
Politico reported Tuesday that Trumpworld is keeping tabs on the Republicans who are leaping to the ex-president’s defense.
‘They’re going to drastically use this to rally their allies, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill and juice for his political agenda and run for 2024,’ one source close to the former president told Politico.
‘If there was a 99 percent chance it’s 100 percent now. He makes it part of his platform – going after the FBI,’ the source said of Trump’s White House ambitions.
Leading members of the party including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik sent out furious statements about the raid.
McCarthy told Attorney General Merrick Garland via Twitter to ‘preserve your documents and clear your calendar.’
‘I’ve seen enough,’ he wrote. ‘The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called out US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Twitter, telling him ‘preserve your documents and clear your calendar’
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called the raid ‘rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!!’
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a prominent member of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House of Representatives, called the raid ‘rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!!’
‘These are the type of things that happen in countries during civil war. The political persecution MUST STOP!!!’ she tweeted.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, another prominent member of the Republican Study Committee, tweeted that the DOJ ‘must be held accountable.’
‘Biden’s FBI just raided the house of the man most likely to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2024…on top of all the other fake investigations into President Trump. Stop weaponizing federal agencies to distract from your own failed agenda!’ Boebert said.
‘The GOP must set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI’s politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government,’ she continued. This cannot wait. We are turning into a banana republic at record speed.’