Rep. Scott Perry denies panel interview request from January 6
WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania on Tuesday rejected a request to sit down for an interview and hand over documents to the House panel investigating the Jan.6 Uprising, joining others allies of former President Donald Trump to try to block the committee.
“I have tremendous respect for our Constitution, the rule of law and the Americans I represent who know this entity is illegitimate and not properly incorporated under the rules of the United States House of Representatives,” Perry said in a statement.
In a letter to Perry on Monday evening, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, Democratic panel chairman, said the panel had received evidence from several witnesses, including Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General. Richard Donoghue, that Perry had “an important role” in efforts to install Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.
Lawmakers’ refusal will test how far the committee is willing to go in its search for information, as members have so far resisted a subpoena from one of their own as they investigate the insurgency supporters of Trump and the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The letter marks the first time the panel has issued a request to another member of Congress as members learn about the details of Perry and D ‘other Congressional Republicans who met Trump before the attack on Capitol Hill and strategized on how they could block the results. during the electoral count on January 6.
Also in the letter, Thompson added that while the panel “has immense respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its members,” it also has “a solemn responsibility to fully investigate all of these facts and circumstances.”
The committee also requested all documents and correspondence between Perry and Trump, his legal team, or anyone involved in planning the events of January 6.
The lawmaker, representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania, was cited more than 50 times in a Senate Judiciary Report released in October describing how Trump’s efforts to reverse his electoral defeat to Joe Biden brought the Justice Department to the edge of chaos and instigated senior officials there and in the White House to threaten to resign.
Perry, who has continually disputed the validity of Biden’s Pennsylvania victory, said he granted Trump’s request to be introduced to Clark, then Deputy Attorney General Perry knew about unrelated legislative matters. The three then discussed their common concerns about the election, Perry said.
The Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state, and senior justice officials have dismissed Perry’s claims.
The recent Senate report describes a call Perry made to Donoghue last December to tell him the ministry was not doing its job on the election. Perry encouraged Donoghue to seek help from Clark because he’s “the kind of guy who could really go in there and do something about it,” the report said.
Perry said his “official communications” with Justice Department officials were within the law.
The panel voted in November to despise Clark after he showed up for a deposition but declined to answer questions. But Thompson said he would stay the prosecution and allow Clark to attend another deposition and try again. Clark’s attorney said Clark intended to assert his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate, but the deposition was repeatedly postponed as Clark dealt with an unidentified health issue.
The panel has already interviewed around 300 people as it seeks to create a comprehensive record of the January 6 attack and the events leading up to it.
At the time, Trump was pushing false claims of widespread electoral fraud and pressuring Vice President Mike Pence and Republican members of Congress to try to overturn the tally during congressional certification on Jan.6. Election officials across the country, as well as the courts, have repeatedly rejected Trump’s claims.
An angry mob of Trump supporters echoed her false claims as she brutally beat Capitol Police and burst into the building that day, disrupting Biden’s certification of victory.
Thompson, in his request to meet with Perry, wrote, “We would love to meet with you soon to discuss these topics, but we also want to accommodate your schedule. “
Associated Press writer Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa., Contributed to this report.
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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