Republican congressman says FBI seized his cellphone

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Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) says that the FBI confiscated his cell phone after three agents approached him while he was traveling with his family on Tuesday.

Perry, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Fox News in a statement that he was handed a warrant as agents requested the device, just one day after the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

It is not clear what the FBI is allegedly looking for in Perry’s cell phone. The agency declined to comment on the matter, as did the Department of Justice (DOJ). Perry’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

“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,” Perry said in a statement to Fox News. “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.”

“[A]s with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys. 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 Perry statement said.

Perry has been the subject of scrutiny by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol. The committee issued a subpoena to Perry, but he has refused to cooperate with the panel.

The committee’s subpoena said that Perry was “directly involved” with efforts to make Department of Justice attorney Jeffrey Clark the acting attorney general. Clark was a key figure in Trump’s election fraud probes that other administration officials balked at.

The committee has also said that Perry was one of several House Republicans who sought a pardon from Trump, which he has denied.

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