A federal appeals court has prevented special counsel Jack Smith’s office from obtaining access to phone records taken from U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, a close ally of former President Trump.
A three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Tuesday that nullifies portions of a prior court decision granting Smith’s team access to approximately 2,000 records from the Pennsylvania congressman’s phone.
Although the appeals court decision remains under seal, a summary judgment found in the docket suggests that the judges have remanded the decision to the lower court “in order to apply the correct standard” to Perry’s phone records.
Federal law enforcement officials confiscated Rep. Perry’s phone in August 2022 as part of the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s objections to the 2020 election results. Perry, a long-standing member of the Freedom Caucus, contested the electoral certification on January 6, 2021, and shares the belief with the former president that the 2020 election was not conducted in a fair manner.
While Tuesday’s ruling is seen as a setback for Jack Smith, the high-profile dispute over Perry’s phone records will continue. The lower court judge has been instructed to reevaluate Perry’s claims of privilege and