Pa. Rep. Scott Perry refuses to speak to Jan. 6 panel, blames ‘radical left’
The lawmaker is refusing to speak with the panel, citing failures of the “radical Left.”
The day after the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection called for an interview with Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.), the lawmaker on Tuesday said he would refuse to speak with the panel, citing failures of the “radical Left.”
On Monday, the panel called for an interview with Perry, marking the first time it has publicly sought to question a sitting member of Congress. In a statement that he also posted on Twitter, Perry emphatically declined the request, vowing to continue to fight back against the alleged “failures of the radical Left.”
The panel, which has been investigating the insurrection by supporters of President Donald Trump and his push to overturn the election, also asked for any documents and correspondence between Perry and Trump, his legal team, or anyone involved in the planning of the Jan. 6 events.
“I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives,” Perry said in the statement. “I decline this entity’s request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left who desperately seek distraction from their abject failures of crushing inflation, a humiliating surrender in Afghanistan, and the horrendous crisis they created and refuse to address at our southern border.”
Perry’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
The House has previously voted to hold those who refused to speak with the panel in contempt, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump ally Steve Bannon. If convicted, the two could each face up to a year behind bars on each charge.
In a letter sent to Perry by the panel, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairperson of the panel, said the committee had received evidence from multiple witnesses, including then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and then-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.
According to investigators, Perry met with Trump ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection and was one of a group of Trump’s allies who came together in a crucial meeting to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Days after the election was called for Joe Biden, some of Trump’s top aides met, including Meadows, campaign manager Bill Stepien, adviser Stephen Miller, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Perry, the New York Times reported.
Additionally, Perry allegedly pushed top law enforcement officials, including Richard Donoghue, then-top deputy to Rosen, to investigate debunked claims about the election, along with trumpeting many of Trump’s baseless claims, according to a report from Senate Democrats.
After Department of Justice officials who had been appointed by Trump said they found no evidence of large-scale fraud, Perry shifted his sights to Philadelphia-born attorney Clark. He introduced Clark to Trump in the Oval Office on Dec. 23.
Though Clark, an attorney in the DOJ’s civil division, didn’t have any connection to the election investigation, he pushed top DOJ officials to issue a letter saying they were investigating election fraud in key swing states, according to Democrats.
In January, Perry acknowledged connecting Trump and Clark.
Perry was also one of the most vocal proponents of throwing out all of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Just hours after the insurrection, Perry raised the objection, saying, “The Constitution is just a piece of paper, it cannot defend itself.”
He was one of eight Pennsylvania Republicans, out of nine in the House, who voted to throw out the state’s votes.