Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.) has sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) to block it from accessing materials on his phone after the agency seized it earlier this month.
The filing indicates that while the government seized and made a digital copy of Perry’s phone, they are in the process of getting a warrant to review its contents.
Perry’s phone appeared to have been briefly seized in connection with the DOJ’s probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot following the seizure of the phones of two attorneys working closely with former President Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Perry introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, then an assistant attorney general at the DOJ. Trump at the time weighed installing Clark, who was willing to forward investigations into Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, as attorney general.
Perry is claiming his phone contains privileged material, something he says would violate the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which protects members of Congress for actions taken in the course of their job. He also claims his phone contains information covered by attorney-client privilege and marital privilege.
“Federal agents should not be given carte blanche to root around in Rep. Perry’s phone data looking for evidence that they hope might further their investigation,” his attorneys wrote in the filing, which was first reported by Politico.
The filing indicates Perry rejected an offer by the DOJ to review the contents of the phone jointly so long as he waived any Speech or Debate Clause protections.
The suit was filed in court last week, a little over a week after his phone was seized, but was not publicly docketed until Tuesday.