Jim Jordan leads investigation into DOJ watchdog over FBI seizure of Scott Perry’s phone
House Judiciary Committee Republicans are opening an investigation into Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz over reports of his involvement in the FBI seizure of Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-PA) cellphone.
A letter sent Monday by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ranking member, said such a move “creates a serious conflict of interest for the OIG in reviewing the Department’s actions.”
Among the demands made of Horowitz were those for relevant documents and communications, as well as explanations for a forensic examination of Perry’s phone and concerns raised about the seizure. Jordan asked the inspector general to produce this material no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 12.
#BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan just sent a letter to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting details on the OIG’s unusual decision to assist the FBI with the unprecedented seizure of U.S. Representative Scott Perry’s personal cell phone. pic.twitter.com/Aj8nyzluH9
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) August 30, 2022
Perry, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was served with a warrant for his cellphone by three FBI agents while traveling with his family earlier this month. The move was part of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. A lawyer for the congressman said Perry is not a target of the inquiry, according to the New York Times.
Perry later told the Washington Examiner he got his device back but criticized the seizure as a “banana republic tactic.”
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“They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish. I’m outraged, though not surprised, that the FBI, under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting member of Congress,” Perry said. “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.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to the Justice Department inspector general for comment.