FBI seize Trump ally Scott Perry's phone two days after Mar-a-Lago raid

Republican congressman has been questioned over his knowledge of the events leading up to the Capitol siege

Republican representative Scott Perry played a role in spreading Donald Trump's electoral fraud claims. Bloomberg
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US congressman Scott Perry said his phone was seized by the FBI two days after a team of law enforcement officials raided former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

Mr Perry, a Republican ally of Mr Trump, has been investigated and has given evidence in the continuing probe into the January 6 storming of the US Capitol last year, during which five people died.

Three agents seized his phone while he was travelling with his family, said an “outraged” Mr Perry. However, he did not reveal why the device was confiscated.

A Justice Department representative declined to comment.

“They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone, if that was their wish,” Mr Perry said, according to a Fox News report.

“My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents and friends. None of this is the government's business,” he said.

Mr Perry, who helped to spread the former president's electoral fraud claims, was in contact with the Trump White House in the weeks before the assault on the Capitol.

During a congressional hearing in June, politicians heard evidence that the politician sought a pardon from Mr Trump. Mr Perry has denied seeking a pardon.

However, he acknowledged introducing Mr Trump to Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department lawyer and Trump loyalist.

Mr Clark wanted Jeffrey Rosen, acting attorney general at the time, to send a letter to the state of Georgia, falsely claiming the department had uncovered voter fraud.

When that failed, Mr Clark sought to have Mr Trump install him as acting attorney general.

In June, federal agents seized Mr Clark's electronic devices from his suburban Virginia home.

The news of Mr Perry’s claimed encounter with the FBI comes at a time when Mr Trump is dealing with the fallout from the bureau’s raid on his oceanside Florida mansion, reportedly to remove 15 boxes of documents he took from the White House, in breach of US law, which says presidential records belong to the public.

Mr Trump tried to paint the search as a politically motivated move by President Joe Biden's administration.

The former president is playing a key role in Republican primaries to pick candidates for the November midterm elections that will determine control of the US Congress.

“They are trying to stop the Republican Party and me once more,” Mr Trump said in a fundraising email on Tuesday. “The lawlessness, political persecution and witch hunt must be exposed and stopped.”

Mr Trump set up his Save America political action committee days after losing the 2020 election to Mr Biden. It has more than $100 million in the bank, a formidable war chest.

Updated: August 10, 2022, 12:04 PM
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