Posted For: Willie Wonka
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has sought to access text messages on Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry’s cell phone, having confiscated it in August, as part of a 2020 election interference probe, CNN reported
FBI agents seized Perry’s phone Aug. 9, he confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that day, ostensibly as part of a federal criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and efforts to hinder the transfer of power to President Joe Biden, CNN reported. The DOJ’s approach to Perry’s phone seizure involved using one warrant to image the phone and pursuing a data access warrant in confidential proceedings, sources familiar with the investigation and public filings indicated, according to CNN.
Perry sued the DOJ soon after his phone had been seized before requesting a pause on the public-facing lawsuit, and the dispute became sealed. He had attempted to stop investigators from accessing his phone data, arguing that portions were personal or fell under Constitutional Speech and Debate Clause protection, his lawsuit said, according to CNN.
Perry contacted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, DOJ official Jeffrey Clark and others who furthered election fraud claims in 2020, thinking election security had been compromised and seeking to preserve voting machines following the election, the outlet reported. He texted Meadows on Nov. 10, 2020 instructions to preserve specific ballot scanning machines used at polling places that experienced a glitch, saying the instructions came from a cyber forensic team, according to Talking Points Memo.
CNN previously obtained more than 2,300 of Meadows’ sent or received text messages dating to between Election Day and Inauguration Day 2021. Perry requested that Meadows give him contacts in Wisconsin and Arizona, the outlet reported.
DOJ investigators and Perry’s attorneys attended an October hearing closed to the public, at which point Perry requested his public-facing lawsuit be dismissed that month, but it is uncertain whether the case is still active, according to CNN.
Perry’s office, an attorney representing him and the DOJ did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.