Last Updated on August 11, 2022
Federal investigators delivered subpoenas or paid visits to several House and Senate Republican offices in the Pennsylvania capital of Harrisburg on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to multiple sources. The move comes just days after FBI agents seized a cell phone belonging to U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA). Perry, who is currently the leader of the House Freedom Caucus, has since been told that he is not a target of any investigation, Penn Live reported.
At least some of the individuals receiving subpoenas were told they were not targets of an investigation, Penn Live reported, but they were told they may have information the FBI is interested in.
The information sought by the bureau centers around Perry and stems from the state’s decision to send alternate electors to Washington D.C. on January 6, 2020. Pennsylvania lawmakers opted to send the alternate electors as numerous election irregularities — many of which have never been investigated — remained unsolved. Pennsylvania was not the only state to send alternate electors, as six others, including Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, opted to do the same.
It is unknown which lawmakers received subpoenas from the FBI. A spokesman for House Speaker Bryan Cutler, who represents Lancaster County, said on Wednesday morning that his office did not receive a visit from federal investigators.
A spokesperson for PA Senate President Pro-Tempore Jake Corman issued a statement, saying, “Federal subpoenas typically request confidentiality from the witnesses being subpoenaed in order to avoid impediment to the ongoing investigation, so it would be inappropriate to comment on whether members have received subpoenas or not. If subpoenaed as witnesses, our members will certainly comply with requests for documents or information not covered by an applicable privilege.”
Rep. Perry referred to the decision to seize his phone as “banana republic tactics” in a statement Tuesday. “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,” he said.
Perry added that he has been told he is not a target of a federal investigation. “In a discussion with the DOJ (federal Department of Justice), my attorneys were informed that I’m not a target of its investigation. I’ve directed them to cooperate with the Justice Department in order to ensure that it gets the information to which it’s entitled, but to protect information to which it’s not – including communications that are protected under the speech and debate clause of the United States Constitution,” Perry said.
According to multiple sources, the interest in Perry centers around his contact with former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. Trump planned to appoint Clark as acting Attorney General in the weeks following the 2020 election. FBI agents raided Clark’s home earlier this year.
Perry, a staunch election integrity advocate, was in close contact with the Trump White House in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election.
According to David Freed, the former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the subpoenas issued this week amount to official requests for information or documents from federal prosecutors who believe that the information they seek will be helpful to an ongoing grand jury investigation.