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Tags: scott perry | doj | jack smith | donald trump | jan. 6

Judge Orders Trump Ally to Turn Over Phone Records

By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2023 10:46 AM EST

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., was ordered to turn over nearly 1,700 phone records to the Department of Justice for special counsel Jack Smith's 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

The phone of Perry, a Trump ally, was seized by the FBI last year as part of the DOJ's Jan. 6 investigation. Perry argued then that more than 2,000 of the phone records were "privileged under the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause," which shields sitting members of Congress from criminal investigation.

According to CNN, Perry's team had delayed Smith's office from accessing any of the records by appealing.

Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Tuesday ruled that Perry must turn over the majority of the communications documents to the Justice Department, after being requested to review them by a federal appeals court.

"Having now analyzed each of the 2,055 documents still at issue, the Court will order Perry to disclose 1,659 of them, but not the 396 others," Boasberg wrote in his decision.

Boasberg divided the phone records into more than two dozen categories to determine which ones federal investigators could have access to, CNN reported.

Boasberg reportedly used three broad categories when examining the messages: if they are with executive branch members, if they are among members of Congress, or if they are with people outside of the government. Some messages in each group should be withheld, the judge found.

Records related to proposed legislation and the 2020 congressional certification of Electoral College votes could be protected if Perry so desired, the court found.

However, communications with officials in the executive branch and people outside the government about former Vice President Mike Pence's role on Jan. 6, 2021, cannot be withheld, the judge said.

Boasberg wrote that the messages about Pence "may bear a relationship to legislative proceedings insofar as they touch on the certification vote, they are neither 'integral' nor 'essential' to Perry's participation in those proceedings because they pertain only to Vice President Pence's role."

For Perry, who chairs the House Freedom Caucus, the federal judge's ruling is the latest salvo in a long-running battle with the DOJ.

He filed a lawsuit against the department, asking a federal judge to return the phone data, as it contains "info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents and friends," none of which, he argued, is "the government's business."

Perry dropped the suit last year, with his lawyers telling The Hill they "voluntarily dismissed our motion for an injunction" in light of "the cooperative spirit" of discussions that occurred.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., was ordered to turn over nearly 1,700 phone records to the Department of Justice for special counsel Jack Smith's 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump.
scott perry, doj, jack smith, donald trump, jan. 6
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2023-46-20
Wednesday, 20 December 2023 10:46 AM
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