The FBI has given Rep. Scott Perry his cellphone back after seizing it in connection with an escalating federal investigation into efforts by allies of former President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election, reported the Washington Examiner.
"Nothing really to update — got the phone and you live your life," the Pennsylvania Republican told the news outlet.
The FBI took Perry's phone while he was traveling with his family one day after the agency raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Perry called the move by the feds a "banana republic tactic."
"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 in a 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."
Perry said his attorneys told him he wasn't a target of the escalating election inquiry.
But "I've directed them to cooperate with the Justice Department in order to ensure that it gets the information to which it's entitled but to protect information to which it's not — including communications that are protected under the speech and debate clause of the United States Constitution," he said.
Former senior Justice Department officials have testified that Perry had "an important role" in Trump's effort to try to install Jeffrey Clark — a top Justice official who was pushing Trump's claims of election fraud — as the acting attorney general.
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