Rep. Adam Schiff said the seizure of Rep. Scott Perry's phone suggests the Justice Department thinks the Trump team's alternate-electors plot was a crime

Left: U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) attends a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Right: Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., talks on the phone in Rayburn Building on Thursday, October 1, 2020.
At left, Rep. Adam Schiff. At right, Rep. Scott Perry.Left: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Right: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.
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  • The FBI seized Rep. Scott Perry's phone as the DOJ investigates efforts to overturn the election.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff said the seizure suggests the DOJ views the "fake electors" scheme as criminal.

  • Perry called the seizure an "abuse of power" on Fox News on Sunday.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California on Sunday said it was possible the Justice Department viewed the GOP's fake-electors scheme as criminal.

The DOJ is investigating Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, an ally of former President Donald Trump, appears to be a key figure in the investigation.

Perry said on Tuesday that the FBI had seized his phone. And the FBI has subpoenaed several lawmakers in Pennsylvania, seeking information on Perry.

In an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Schiff called the seizure "striking" because it suggested that authorities had established "probable cause" that Perry had committed a crime.

"And the fact that it was a member of Congress' phone, I think, would make the Justice Department all the more certain, or need to be certain, that they had the probable cause," Schiff told the anchor Margaret Brennan.

"And that also suggests the department thinks that this fake-elector plot was a violation of law, which I think it certainly was," he added. "So, I think it's very significant. All those respects."

Trump allies have been accused of attempting to create alternate slates of electors in seven swing states — including Pennsylvania — to overturn Joe Biden's victory.

Perry has said he introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official who believed the election was inaccurate. The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, found that Clark, whom Trump tried to make the attorney general, wrote a draft of a letter to officials in six states suggesting they select alternate electors.

On Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Perry described the seizure of his phone as an "abuse of power."

"Anybody that doesn't bend the knee, that isn't intimidated, that isn't parroting the narrative is now subject to these kinds of third-world banana-republic tactics," he said.

Perry, whom Trump endorsed in 2018 and 2020, was the first congressional lawmaker to have their phone seized during the investigation, The Washington Post reported.

Text messages obtained by the House select committee indicated that five days after Biden was declared the winner of the election, Perry texted Mark Meadows, then the White House chief of staff, to "immediately seize" voting machines made by Dominion. Perry argued that "the Brits" and the CIA had manipulated the vote.

Former Trump aides have said Perry, who's been a vocal proponent of several baseless conspiracy theories, is one of six GOP lawmakers who sought preemptive pardons after the Capitol riot.

Perry and Schiff did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider