The FBI’s seizure of Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-PA) phone on Tuesday is believed to be linked to a federal investigation into attempts by several former President Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election results, two New York officials said. people close to the file. Time.
On Tuesday, Perry told Fox News that three FBI agents approached him with a warrant for his phone while he was traveling with his family. Perry said officers gave him a warrant and asked him to hand over his phone. Perry claimed the FBI had “not attempted to contact my attorney, who would have arranged for them to have my phone if they so wished.”
Investigators reportedly returned Perry’s phone to him on Wednesday, one of his lawyers, John Irving, told The Times.
Irving reportedly said prosecutors told Perry he was a witness and not a subject of their investigation.
“The Department of Justice has informed us that Representative Perry is not the target of its investigation,” Irving said in a written statement to The Times. “Rep. Perry asked us to cooperate with the Department of Justice to ensure that he gets the information he is entitled to, but also to protect the information he is not entitled to.”
The seizure of Perry’s phone followed the seizure of phones and other electronics from Trump cronies Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman, who were both key players in Trump’s failed bid to overturn the election results. in June. Clark, a former DOJ official, tried to weaponize the department to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory on Trump’s behalf. Eastman, a conservative lawyer, was part of a campaign to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to announce the results of the 2020 election.
The Times noted that it is unclear how, or if, the investigation into Perry, Clark and Eastman is related to the larger investigation. Prosecutors are investigating a scheme by Trump allies and his attorneys to submit a fake voters list that would falsely claim Trump won in battleground states he lost.
Over the past few months, the Jan. 6 select committee has presented evidence pointing to the roles played by Clark, Eastman and Perry in the failed effort to steal a second term from Trump.
Perry was a key player in pushing Trump to make Clark his acting attorney general amid backlash from other senior DOJ officials. In an open hearing, the Jan. 6 select committee revealed text messages showing Perry repeatedly urging White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to get in touch with Clark.
The committee subpoenaed Perry in May, but the GOP congressman refused to comply. Clark and Eastman were also subpoenaed by the panel and repeatedly invoked their Fifth Amendment rights.