Congressman and Trump ally Scott Perry says FBI seized his cellphone




  • In US
  • 2022-08-09 23:52:27Z
  • By The Guardian
Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP  

Scott Perry, the Republican congressman and a close ally of Donald Trump, has said that federal investigators seized his cellphone on Tuesday.

The news came a day after the FBI executed a search warrant on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, as part of a criminal inquiry over the mishandling of White House records. It was not immediately clear whether the seizure of Perry's phone was connected to the raid.

The prominent House Republican from Pennsylvania, chair of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and one of Trump's most ardent defenders on Capitol Hill, confirmed his phone had been taken in a statement reported earlier by Fox News.

"This morning, while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone. 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 in the statement.

"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."

While it is not yet known why investigators sought Perry's phone, his communication could be relevant in at least two investigations: Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and the mishandling of official records by Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, who texted Perry on encrypted messaging apps.

The justice department could also want to examine Perry's phone because he and Trump share a lawyer, John Rowley, who is the former president's lead attorney discussing executive privilege issues with the justice department in its criminal investigations.

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