- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

One day after the raid on former President Donald Trump‘s home, the FBI has seized the cellphone of a Republican member of Congress.

Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement to Fox News that three FBI agents handed him a warrant and demanded his phone.

“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. 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,” he said.

Mr. Perry‘s statement did not elaborate on whether he was told anything about what the FBI was seeking on the phone.

Mr. Perry is a founding member and current chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. As a close ally of former President Donald Trump, the Democratic-appointed Jan. 6 panel has shown interest in his communications with Mr. Trump around that time.

While the Mar-a-Lago raid was widely reported to be about a dispute over presidential records, Mr. Perry said Tuesday’s seizure showcases an overreaching FBI and Justice Department.

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“As with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys,” he said.

“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,” Mr. Perry noted.

He also warned about what such overreach by a strengthened federal bureaucracy means for the general public.

“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,” Mr. Perry said in his statement.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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