FBI agents have confiscated the cell phone of Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) while he was traveling with his family on Tuesday.
“This morning, while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone,” Perry said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” he added.
Perry talked about former President Donald Trump, who was raided by the FBI on Monday, in his statement.
“As with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys,” Perry said. “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.”
Perry has been a target of the Democrats’ January 6 House select committee, due to his staunch defense of the former president and his contact with the former Trump White House. However, it is unclear what the seizing of Perry’s cell phone is related to at this point.
FBI agents executed a search warrant on Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, due to the belief that Trump has held back classified information from a turnover of documents back in January to the National Archives.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI executed the search warrant “in part because they believed additional classified information remained at the private club.”
Agents were reportedly at the property the entire day and were dressed in plain clothes, leading staff to believe that they were U.S. Secret Service agents, which is why news of the executed search warrant did not leak.
Trump’s Secret Service agents were notified about the raid only moments before it occurred. Trump had lawyers present during the raid while he was at his residence in New York City.
Federal prosecutors had opened a grand jury investigation back in May into Trump over whether classified material that ended up at his home in Mar-a-Lago was mishandled.
These types of investigations are usually for federal authorities and are primarily focused on determining if classified material was compromised. Intelligence officials can then take steps to protect sensitive sources and methods. Prosecutors will seek to learn every aspect of the documents’ handling from when they left the White House until they were returned to the National Archives.
In order for prosecutors to prove that a crime was committed, they would need evidence proving that the involved parties knew that removing the documents was against the law and that the involved parties were aware the documents were classified.
In addition, raids in these scenarios are almost never conducted, and as such it is unprecedented for a former president to have been raided in such a way.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said in a statement. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
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