Aug 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Perry sues DOJ over phone data seized through search warrant

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Aug. 5.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Aug. 5. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a close ally of former President Trump, on Wednesday filed an emergency lawsuit against the federal government, requesting that the Department of Justice return cellphone data and other property it obtained through a search warrant earlier this month.

Why it matters: Perry, the chair of the House Freedom Caucus who was involved with the campaign to overturn the 2020 election in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riot, said on Aug. 9 that FBI agents seized his cell phone.

What they're saying: In the lawsuit, lawyers for Perry asked a federal judge to order the Justice Department to return the phone data and to prevent investigators from further searching that data.

  • Perry, after announcing the seizure, said he was "outraged" and that his phone contains "info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents and friends," which he claimed was none of the government’s business.

The big picture: Perry was allegedly among the House GOP members who requested a pardon from the White House in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to testimony by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

  • Perry has denied Hutchinson's testimony.
  • The Jan. 6 select committee has revealed information indicating that Perry was involved in efforts to force the Justice Department to investigate Trump's false election fraud claims, to install Jeffrey Clark, a vocal believer in the fraud claims, as acting attorney general.
  • The panel has also revealed testimony alleging Perry attended a Dec. 21, 2020, White House meeting at which GOP House members discussed a legal theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally reject electors.

Go deeper: Cheney says she wants Pence to testify to Jan. 6 panel

Go deeper