Rep. Perry insists on seizure of cell phone for ‘abuse of power,’ not attack on Capitol on Jan. 6

U.S. Representative Scott Perry on Tuesday again rejected the legitimacy of the FBI’s seizure of his cellphone and said he had received no new information about why authorities wanted it.

“There is absolutely nothing I can do about the Biden administration’s overreach and abuse of power,” said Perry, who spoke to reporters after an event outside Harrisburg.

“So I will continue to fight for the people of south-central Pennsylvania in the face of crippling inflation and the cost of living, in the face of incredible crime rates, in the face of an open southern border and security issues. supply chain,” he said.

The FBI seized Perry’s phone earlier this month within 24 hours after federal agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.

Perry, a five-term Republican whose 10th district includes Dauphin County and parts of Cumberland and York counties, spoke to reporters Tuesday following an event that focused on church violence and other places of worship.

Pressed again to find out if he has asked for a precautionary pardon related to the consequences of the 2020 presidential election, or if he knows someone who has done so on his behalf, Perry said: “How many times can I say unequivocally no?”

Perry, leader of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, was named a person of interest in June by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Perry led congressional objections to certifying the presidential vote after the insurrection and played a key role in Trump’s efforts to appoint an attorney general who backed the voter fraud allegations, the committee said.

Perry was asked Tuesday about his message to voters in his constituency who may fear they may have been on the wrong side of the law regarding his activities after the November 2020 election.

He said his actions were legal and proper.

“I’ve asked for audits and investigations and based on my objection to these things. If that’s not what a member of the Legislative Assembly does in the form of oversight, then I don’t know what we’re let’s talk here. It was entirely and completely part of my duties and responsibilities,” he said.

The allegations made by the Jan. 6 committee in June prompted Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, to call on Perry to resign, saying Perry “led a brazen attempt to corrupt the Justice Department.” He fueled election lies for months before the insurgency.

When asked Tuesday if he knew of any evidence of voter fraud in Pennsylvania that would have changed the outcome. He said no. There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania in the 2020 election.

But, Perry said his calls for investigations and audits were not based on knowledge of the fraud. Instead, he said they stemmed from actions of Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, who oversees the elections, and what he called “patchy” treatment of voters regarding signatures, access to ballot boxes and voting. counting of ballots received after polling day.

Perry was asked if he still had doubts about the results in Pennsylvania, where President Joe Biden won by more than 70,000 votes.

“I think many people in our community are concerned about their confidence in the election and the integrity of our elections, and rightly so. On their behalf, as their representative, these questions must be answered,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Perry chaired a session in Dauphin County focused on preventing acts of mass violence in churches and other places of worship. The event included a presentation by a researcher from the US Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center. It also included county law enforcement officers at the federal level, who urged residents of the district to contact agencies, including the FBI, regarding potential threats to their places of worship.

Afterwards, Perry was asked how much trust the people of his district should have in federal agencies, including the FBI, which were touted as trusted resources on Tuesday — but whom Trump has often maligned — and whether he would trust them. considers trustworthy.

He said he didn’t mean to disparage federal agencies over “reckless and excessive acts by one administration or one administrator or leadership at the top … I have some concerns and I think we’ll look into that.” “

Regarding residents of the district who may need help from these agencies, Perry said, “If this is where they need to go, then this is where they need to trust that they can go.”

Perry said he was ready to debate Harrisburg Councilwoman Shamaine Daniels, his Democratic opponent in the November election.

“You know me…I’m always up for the job, and I’m running for office, so if that’s what voters want, I’m happy to oblige,” he said.

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