Judge Demands Scott Perry’s Phone Records for Jan. 6 Investigation
A federal judge has ruled that Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., must disclose 1,659 documents to government investigators following an investigation related to the events of January 6. The FBI seized Perry’s phone in 2022 as part of a federal investigation into efforts to interfere with the certification of the 2020 election, and the lawmaker had claimed speech or debate protection over 2,219 records. The judge ruled that only 396 of Perry’s records are protected by the speech or debate clause, with the remaining, including messages about alleged election fraud and the role of the vice president in certifying the electoral vote count, to be disclosed.
Federal Judge Orders Rep. Scott Perry to Disclose Communication Records
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., has been ordered by a federal judge to disclose 1,659 documents to government investigators. The ruling determined that the records were not protected by the Constitution’s speech or debate clause.
This is a new development in a Jan. 6-related investigation that has involved the Trump ally for several months. The FBI seized Perry’s phone in 2022 as part of a federal probe into attempts to interfere with the 2020 election certification.
Perry had asserted speech or debate protection over 2,219 records when investigators sought a second warrant to access his data. The Congressman had also demanded the return of his cellphone data, expressing outrage over the move.
The appeals court upheld a prior judge’s order to disclose the majority of the contested records, despite Perry’s appeal. It did, however, rule that speech or debate protection could apply in some cases that the lower court had dismissed, leading to a district court re-review.
396 of Perry’s Records Protected, 1,659 Must Be Disclosed
Chief Judge James Boasberg ruled on Tuesday that 396 of Perry’s records were protected under the speech or debate clause. The rest, which include messages about alleged election fraud and the vice president’s role in certifying electoral votes, must be disclosed, according to the judge.
Boasberg clarified his decision in a 12-page filing, stating: “Having now analyzed each of the 2,055 documents still at issue, the Court will order Perry to disclose 1,659 of them, but not the 396 others”.
The court documents suggest that Perry’s cellphone was used in communications that may be pertinent to the government’s investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Perry’s argument that his communications were protected by the Constitution’s speech or debate clause was mostly rejected in the court filing.
Perry has garnered criticism for his alleged actions post the 2020 presidential election. Some of his text messages enquiring about a conspiracy theory related to the 2020 election were previously obtained by the Jan. 6 House committee.
Read More US News