Home News Perry and Pence: Probing the Limits to Speech or Debate Clause Privilege

Perry and Pence: Probing the Limits to Speech or Debate Clause Privilege


The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. heard oral argument on Thursday. Circuit heard oral argument regarding a Speech or Debate Clause case that could be very important. It concerns whether the Justice Department can access the contents of Congressman Scott Perry’s cell phone in its investigation of January 6. You can listen to most of the arguments here. Judges Katsas & Rao engaged in a vigorous probe of both sides’ arguments. This podcast is well worth the effort. (Judge Henderson also participated on the panel but only asked few questions since she was participating remotely.

Friday’s district court judge BerylHowell released a redacted copy of her decision denying Rep. Perry’s Speech or Debate Clause claim. It was previously under seal. After conducting in camera Judge Howell reviewed over 2,000 documents from Rep. Perry’s cell phone and concluded that many were not protected by the Speech or Debate Clause. Judge Howell wrote:

The fact that Rep. Perry has solitary thoughts with individuals touting cybersecurity expertise or political conversations with lawyers from a…

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