US Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a senior member of the House Oversight Committee, wants to know why Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz cooperated with the FBI after the cell phone of Representative Scotty Perry was seized.
Jordan says in a letter that the Inspector General (IG) assisted the FBI in examining a cell phone it allegedly seized from Scott Perry. His criticisms of the IG are directed at the FBI for not being able to examine the phone forensically and at the IG for giving up his independence from the agency he’s supposed to be responsible for, said Washington Examiner.
The letter states, “Your decision to assist the FBI relating to the seizure of a Member of Congress’s phone creates a serious conflict of interest for the OIG in reviewing the Department’s actions. In June 2021, the OIG initiated a review of the Department’s use of subpoenas and other legal authorities to obtain communication records of Members of Congress, other individuals, and journalists.’ On the one hand, the OIG is reviewing whether the Department’s actions in those cases were based upon any improper considerations; however, because of your decision, the OIG appears to be directly involved with seizing and imaging the phone of a Member of Congress.”
Earlier this month, and while Perry, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was traveling with his family, he was served with a warrant for his cell phone by three FBI agents. As part of a federal investigation, the inspector general’s office of the DOJ began investigating efforts to nullify the 2020 election results and appears to have expanded it to prosecutors across the country. attorney’s office in Washington. According to the New York Times, the lawyer for the member of Congress said Perry was not the target of the investigation.
Since the FBI’s politicization has been raised by a series of incidents, Jordan said trust in the DOJ watchdog is more important than ever. “The OIG is now conflicted from reviewing the basis and propriety of the FBI’s controversial decision to seize Representative Perry’s phone,” the letter stated.
Rasmussen Reports released survey data showing that Americans’ trust in the FBI has declined. There is a 44% decrease in trust in the FBI among Americans following the raid. Jordan said that “Congress and the American people cannot afford to lose faith in the OIG, especially as the Biden Administration continues to weaponize federal law-enforcement resources against its political opponents and so many FBI whistleblowers continue to come forward with shocking allegations.”
Perry said he recovered his device, but described the seizure as a “banana republic tactic.”
“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 declared. “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.”