Scott Perry Sues Federal Government Requesting the Return of his Cellphone

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday April 28, 2022, to review the U.S. Department of State's foreign policy priorities and fiscal year 2023 budget request. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By Ashley Adams

August 25, 2022

The five-term Republican congressman from Dauphin County has sued the federal government for the return of his cellphone, which was seized earlier this month by the FBI.

Pennsylvania US Rep. Scott Perry filed an emergency lawsuit against the Department of Justice on Wednesday requesting the return of his cellphone data and other property seized by the FBI through a search warrant earlier this month.

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, according to an article first published by Axios.

“Make no mistake, the seizure of my personal phone has nothing to do with Jan. 6, 2021, and everything to do with Nov. 8, 2022,” Perry said Wednesday, through a campaign spokesman.

Perry said 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 US House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack said it had evidence that the five-term Republican congressman from Dauphin County sought a pardon from then-President Donald Trump for his role in conspiring to challenge and overturn the results of the 2020 election, an allegation Perry has denied

In an interview with the York Dispatch Tuesday, Perry again denied ever seeking a presidential pardon.  

Former senior Justice Department officials have testified that Perry, who is up for reelection in November, had “an important role” in Trump’s effort to try to install Jeffrey Clark—a top Justice Department official who was pushing Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud—as the acting attorney general.

Perry was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee but refused to sit for a deposition, saying through his attorney that he does not recognize the “legitimacy” of a committee focused more on “scoring political points” than on the “troublemakers” who broke into the Capitol.

Perry was cited more than 50 times in a Senate Judiciary report released in October 2021 outlining how Trump’s effort to overturn his election defeat to Joe Biden brought the Justice Department to the brink of chaos and prompted top officials there and at the White House to threaten to resign.

Perry, who has continuously disputed the validity of President Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, has said he obliged Trump’s request for an introduction to Clark, then an assistant attorney general whom Perry knew from unrelated legislative matters. The three men went on to discuss their shared concerns about the election, Perry has said.

The Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state, and senior Justice officials dismissed Perry’s claims.

The Senate report outlined a call Perry made to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Rich Donoghue in December 2020 to say the department wasn’t doing its job with respect to the elections. Perry encouraged Donoghue to elicit Clark’s help because he’s “the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this,” the report said.

Perry has said his “official communications” with Justice Department officials were consistent with the law.

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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