Congressman Scott Perry (R-Pa.), whose personal cell phone was seized by the FBI a day after it raided President Donald Trump’s Florida home, said citizens are right to question if the agency’s actions are politically motivated.
Perry, a Trump ally, was traveling with his family when three FBI agents visited him and took his personal cell phone on Aug. 9, imaging it before giving it back. It raised questions as to why the agency was unnecessarily aggressive by showing up unannounced instead of contacting his attorney.
Perry told The Epoch Times the similarly aggressive raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Aug. 8 has raised separation of powers issues and eroded public trust in the FBI, which appears to be weaponized against political opponents.
Perry’s phone contained info about legislative and political activities along with private discussions with his wife, family, constituents, and friends—none of which is the government’s business.
His attorneys told him the Justice Department said he was not a target in an investigation, which begs the question of why they seized his phone in the first place. It is unclear if there is a connection between Perry’s phone and the raid on Trump’s home.
President Joe Biden’s FBI now has private information belonging to a sitting member of Congress, he said. The separation of powers is a firewall to keep the three branches of government in check.
“That’s there for a reason,” Perry told The Epoch Times. “And of course, right now, it looks like the federal DOJ, for maybe the first time in history, is preparing to pierce that veil.”
Perry said that when people see false accusations against Trump, such as the Russian collusion hoax, followed by the FBI storming the former president’s home this week over a document dispute, it shakes their faith in the system.
‘Rot at the Top’
The National Archive Records Administration confirmed in February that Trump’s representatives were cooperating in transferring presidential records.
Trump attorney Christina Bobb told The Epoch Times on Aug. 9 that it was unclear why the agency resorted to drastic measures.
“We don’t know what the probable cause is. I don’t think there is a good cause to do such a drastic thing. But they did,” Bobb said.
The search warrant for the raid was unsealed Friday. FBI agents took 20 boxes of materials and various classified materials, miscellaneous secret, top secret, and confidential documents. The agents took photos, a handwritten note, the executive grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone and info concerning the president of France.
General Services packed boxes for the president, which were sent to his home. Perry said that Trump invited authorities to take a look and asked him to put an additional lock on the storage area before the raid.
Keep in mind that the president is the classifier of all information, Perry noted. So it’s hard to say Trump has taken classified information. Trump has said the documents were declassified.
“If the president says it’s not classified, then it’s not classified,” Perry said. “What is happening here sure seems like character assassination and political persecution because he’s their political rival.”
Perry pointed out that it was James Comey, former head of the FBI, who took classified documents and forwarded them to a friend so that he could have a special counsel created to investigate Trump. Meanwhile, Comey never suffered any consequences.
“Without a doubt, we are concerned with the rot at the top,” Perry said.