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Republican congressman says FBI seized his cell phone

"Three FBI agents visited me this morning while I was traveling with my family and confiscated my cell phone," he said in a statement. said in.

The search is related to an investigation being conducted in part by the Justice Department inspector general, according to individuals familiar with the matter. Perry hasn't said why his phone was seized, but Watchdog has said the ex-president is investigating the Justice Department's role in trying to help former President Donald Trump block 2020 certification. The conduct of Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke, and potentially others, is also being investigated. election results.

A Justice Department spokesman and the inspector general both declined to comment.

Perry has a close relationship with Clark, who is under scrutiny from federal investigators for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election. was searched for.

Perry's search warrant indicated that the Inspector General's laboratory in northern Virginia could conduct forensic examination of the seized phones. The inclusion of the inspector general is unusual given that the office investigates misconduct by Justice Department officials. Perry, a five-term congressman, has never worked in the department.

The Inspector General is said to be conducting forensic and other investigative work following his June search for Clark and former Trump attorney John Eastman, the Justice Department's oversight office. is the same as

In an appearance on Fox Wednesday night, Perry said, "My lawyers, who have spoken directly to the Department of Justice, have told me that as their client, I am not under investigation."

The new details came as Perry and other Republicans criticized federal law enforcement for searching the communications of sitting congressmen.

Officials nevertheless took precautions not to access Perry's information, which should have been protected, on Tuesday, sources said.

Perry's phone was imaged after a search on Tuesday morning and returned shortly after. Sources said the warrant indicated that federal officials would have to go back to federal court for his second warrant to access the content.

Eastman, Clarke and Perry have not been charged. It's unclear if the political contacts that aided Trump's post-election pressure campaign were subject to a criminal investigation, but the DOJ inspector general said Clark was an employee within the Justice Department when Trump tried to enlist him. We are investigating fraudulent activity by members to spread false voter fraud allegations. Perry introduced Clarke and Trump.

Other Justice Department, DC-based prosecutors are working alongside the Inspector General's Office on criminal investigations involving Clark and Eastman, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. .

This story was updated in Wednesday's ad.