The media has been ablaze with news that the 45th president’s personal home was raided on Monday, but conservatives are up-in-arms upon learning that a Republican Congressman was approached in public on Tuesday by the FBI and served with a search warrant to take his personal cell phone.
GOP Representative Scott Perry (PA) said he was traveling with his family when three FBI agents detained him and presented him with a warrant for his phone. Perry is said to be a “close ally” of President Donald Trump, and the January 6 committee has called for an interviewed with Perry. This request, which Perry denied shortly after the committee did so, was based on “evidence from several witnesses” that Perry “had an important role” in attempting to install a Justice Department official as the acting U.S. attorney general. According to the January 6 panel, this action was “a part of attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election.”
Perry declined the interview with the January 6 committee on December 22, 2021, but he was later subpoenaed to appear in front of the committee in May 2022.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, a Pennsylvania newspaper, described Perry as “one of the leading figures in the effort to throw out Pennsylvania’s votes in the 2020 presidential election.”
Perry allegedly sent messages to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in which he exhorted then-National Security Agency head John Ratcliffe to “investigate alleged Chinese hacking” in relation to the 2020 election. Perry also signed an amicus brief to support Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that contested the results of the 2020 election.
Among other allegations, Select Committee Chair Liz Cheney has asserted that Perry is one of many GOP Congresspeople who requested a presidential pardon from Trump. Perry has denied this allegation, calling it “an absolute, shameless, soulless lie.” Further research reveals that some of the basis for Cheney’s assertion is the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, whose second-hand testimony that President Donald Trump lunged for the steering wheel of the presidential limousine (nicknamed “The Beast, the limo has a glass that separates the driver and the president from one another) has been questioned by many in the media.
Perry revealed the seizure of his phone on Fox News Tuesday. The Congressman expressed outrage at the way in which the warrant was served. “They (the FBI agents) made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish.” Perry said that the phone has information about both his political activities (as well as discussions about legislative issues) in addition to private conversations with members of his family. “None of this is the government’s business,” Perry added.
Perry was outspoken about his fury: “I’m outraged – though not surprised – that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice would seize the phone of a sitting member of Congress.”
Americans were already stunned by the raid on Mar-a-Lago Monday, but the public seizure of Perry’s personal phone has riled many of Perry’s Republican counterparts. Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX) tweeted: “THEY’VE DECLARED WAR!” Rep. Jackson accused the DOJ under Biden of becoming “more tyrannical every day.”
Representative Jim Jordan, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted: “They were out to get Trump before he was president. . . They were out to get him after he left the White House. . .now they’re out to get Scott Perry.”
A Wall Street Journal op-ed which infers that the investigation into Trump may be taking the country down a path from which it may not return: “The FBI search on Trump suggests that Attorney General Merrick Garland may be committed to pursuing and indicting Trump. If so, he is taking the country on a perilous road.” Social media is already erupting with divided opinions on both Perry’s FBI interaction and the raid on Mar-a-Lago. Should the DOJ continue pursuing this path?