Congressman Perry says FBI agents have seized his cell phone

The 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is held in Dallas

By Eric Beech and Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday that FBI agents had seized his cell phone, in yet another sign that the Justice Department's investigation into the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is heating up.

In a statement, Perry said three agents seized his phone while he was traveling with his family. He did not say why his phone was confiscated but said he was "outraged."

A supporter of former President Donald Trump, Perry has been the subject of a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

A Justice Department spokesperson 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," Perry said in the statement, first reported by Fox News.

"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.

Perry, who helped spread Trump's false statements of 2020 election fraud, was in contact with the Trump White House in the weeks before the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

During a congressional hearing in June, lawmakers heard testimony that Perry sought a pardon from Trump. Perry has denied seeking a pardon.

Perry has acknowledged introducing Trump to Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a former Justice Department lawyer and Trump loyalist.

Clark wanted then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to send a letter to Georgia falsely claiming the department uncovered voter fraud. When that failed, Clark sought to have Trump install him as acting attorney general.

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

(Reporting by Eric Beech and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Ross Colvin, Daniel Wallis and Cynthia Osterman)