Perry told Fox News he was traveling with his family when he was approached by three FBI agents with a warrant for his device.
“They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish,” the lawmaker said in a statement. “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 added that his phone contained information about his legislative and political activities and personal conversations with friends and family.
“None of this is the government’s business,” he said.
The lawmaker’s office did not reply to a request for comment.
It’s unclear what investigation the warrant may be related to, but the Justice Department has been ramping up several investigations into the events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and Trump’s efforts to remain in power in the weeks after he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. Grand juries have issued subpoenas to senior White House officials in recent weeks, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence. The FBI also seized the cellphones of Trump election attorney John Eastman and searched the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.
The FBI raided Mar-A-Lago on Monday, reportedly as part of an inquiry related to classified material Trump brought with him to the resort after he left the White House.
Perry is a vocal ally of Trump who spread lies about rampant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and worked to overturn the results. He served as a go-between for the White House and Clark, a former Justice Department environmental lawyer and a key figure in the effort to keep Trump in power.
Perry was also named by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, as one of several members of Congress that sought a preemptive pardon for his work in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection during her bombshell testimony before the House select committee in June.
The lawmaker has denied that claim, saying he never sought a pardon.
The Pennsylvania Republican has refused to comply with requests for information from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, saying the panel is “illegitimate.”
“As with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys,” Perry told Fox News on Tuesday. “These kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every Citizen.”