Rep. Scott Perry sues DOJ to block access to his phone contents after FBI seizure

The Pennsylvania congressman argues phone's content protected by attorney-client privilege

Published: August 24, 2022 1:11pm

Updated: August 24, 2022 1:58pm

GOP Rep. Scott Perry is suing the Justice Department in an attempt to block the agency from accessing the contents of his cellphone that the FBI seized a day after its Mar-a-Lago raid.

The FBI seized Perry's phone while he was on vacation with his family in New Jersey on Aug. 9 and copied its contents before giving it back to him.

FBI agents on Aug. 8 raided former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, in Florida, to take disputed Trump White House documents.

The warrant for the seizure of Perry's phone is part of a broader investigation into efforts in Pennsylvania to contest the November 2020 election results or consider alternate electors that could be offered at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The contents of Perry's phone were given to the DOJ inspector general, who is leading the investigation. According to Perry's lawsuit, the department is in the process of obtaining another warrant to review the contents of his phone, Politico reported.

Perry says he and his lawyer worked to negotiate a solution outside of litigation with the DOJ.

The department proposed that Perry's attorneys and the its investigators review the congressman's phone together and determine potential privilege issues.

However, Perry says the department required that he waive his immunity under the Constitution’s speech and debate clause, which he declined.

Perry argues that his phone's content is protected by attorney-client privilege, marital privilege and a provision by the Constitution that limits legal action taken against members of Congress with regard to their official duties.

The lawsuit was filed in Washington, D.C., federal court last week but only publicly docketed Tuesday. The case has been assigned to Judge Jia Cobb, who was appointed by Democrat President Joe Biden.

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