The Lead

GOP Rep. Scott Perry declines Jan. 6 House committee’s interview request

By: - December 21, 2021 12:01 pm

Congressman Scott Perry, R-10th District, answers a question at a Hummelstown public meeting with constituents on July 30th, 2019. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

One day after receiving an interview request from the select House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, Pennsylvania’s Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, has declined their invitation, alleging that the committee is “illegitimate” and a distraction tactic.

“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 at our border,” Perry said in a Tuesday statement.

Jan. 6 House committee requests interview with Pa. Rep. Scott Perry

On Monday, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, who chairs the committee, sent a letter — not a subpoena — to Perry, asking for his “voluntary cooperation” in the panel’s investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection and attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Perry’s refusal raises the question of whether the select House committee will issue a subpoena for his testimony.

The request marked the first time the House panel publicly asked to interview a sitting member of Congress and came nearly a year after former President Donald Trump launched a campaign of unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.

Thompson cited evidence that Perry played an “important role” in efforts to appoint Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general. He also noted additional evidence that Perry communicated with Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, about Clark, as well as with the White House about unsubstantiated claims of corrupted Dominion voting machines.

The letter to Perry said Clark informed the committee that he planned to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination if deposed by the House committee, with the understanding that “we planned to pose questions addressing his interactions with you,” Thompson wrote to Perry.

“In the weeks before Jan. 6, then-President Trump’s appointees at the Justice Department informed the president repeatedly that his claims of election fraud were not supported by the evidence, and that the election was not, in fact, stolen,” Thompson wrote. “Then-President Trump considered appointing Jeffrey Clark as acting Attorney General, as Mr. Clark pressed his Department of Justice superiors to use agency authorities to challenge the election results.”

Perry — a Trump ally who objected to Pennsylvania’s electoral results — and other congressional Republicans met with the former president to plan how they could derail final certification ahead of the violent attack.

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Marley Parish
Marley Parish

A Pennsylvania native, Marley Parish covers the Senate for the Capital-Star. She previously reported on government, education and community issues for the Centre Daily Times and has a background in writing, editing and design. A graduate of Allegheny College, Marley served as editor of the campus newspaper, where she also covered everything from student government to college sports.

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