The Lead

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

By: - December 20, 2021 7:09 pm

House Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Scott Perry makes opening remarks during a hearing on “critical canine contributions to the DHS mission’” in Washington, D.C., May 18, 2017. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett

The select House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol has requested a meeting with Pennsylvania’s Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, citing evidence that the sitting member of Congress had “an important role” in efforts to appoint Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.

In a letter sent Monday to Perry, Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, asked for his “voluntary cooperation” in the committee’s investigation into the insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. 

The request, which marks the first time the House panel has publicly asked to interview a sitting member of Congress, comes nearly a year after former President Donald Trump and his supporters launched a campaign of unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, following his loss to now-President Joe Biden.

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.

“We have received evidence from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting attorney general,” Thompson wrote, citing evidence from former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue.

On behalf of the committee, Thompson asked for an interview with Perry and cited additional evidence that he 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 states that 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.”

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