House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.) confirmed that he has received his cell phone back from the FBI after the agency had seized it a few days back.
On Aug. 9, a day after raiding former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, FBI agents had taken Perry’s phone as part of a separate investigation. At the time, Perry was traveling with his family. Speaking to “Capitol Report” on NTD News, the GOP member confirmed that he has received his phone.
He is still uninformed as to why the phone was confiscated by the FBI. However, Perry was informed by his attorneys that he was not a target of the FBI’s investigation.
After the seizure, Perry had blasted FBI agents for making no attempt to contact his lawyer who would have made arrangements to submit the phone if needed by the agency.
In a statement, Perry said that though he was outraged, he was “not surprised” that the FBI under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice would seize the phone of a sitting member of Congress.
Perry claimed that his phone contains information about political and legislative activities as well as private conversations with his family members, friends, and constituents, none of which is the “government’s business.”
“DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys,” the statement said. “These kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every citizen.”
In an interview with NTD, Greg Shaffer, a retired FBI agent for the elite hostage rescue team, said that the FBI needs to have special permission to seize any property belonging to members of Congress, members of the clergy, attorneys, or other individuals who deal with privileged information. Seizing Perry’s phone was a “show of force” by the Biden administration.
“For an FBI agent to go walk up to a sitting congressman and take his cell phone … that had to be approved at the highest level at the FBI and DOJ,” Shaffer said. “That is very, very difficult to do. Unprecedented.”
It is unclear whether there is a link between Perry’s phone seizure and the raid on Trump’s home. Speaking to The Epoch Times, Perry pointed out that the separation of powers is a firewall that keeps the three branches of government in check.
By taking control of a phone belonging to a sitting member of Congress, the DOJ, “for maybe the first time in history, is preparing to pierce that veil.”
Darlene McCormick contributed to the report.