The Lead

Pa. U.S. Rep. Scott Perry among lawmakers on text chain about efforts to overturn 2020 election

By: - December 13, 2022 11:51 am

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, speaking at a Capitol news conference on Thursday, 7/29/21 (C-Span screen capture)

A Republican congressman from central Pennsylvania was among the nearly three-dozen members of Congress contacted by a former top Trump administration official as plans were being laid to topple the results of the 2020 election, according to a published report.

Text messages obtained by Talking Points Memo, published Monday, show U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, was among the lawmakers who exchanged messages with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The messages were turned over to the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the online news organization reported.

Perry, who won re-election in November, is the chairperson of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus. The House’s Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Perry and other top Republicans in May as they conducted their probe, the Capital-Star previously reported. Perry refused to cooperate in the committee’s investigation and publicly dismissed its legitimacy.

The text messages obtained by Talking Points Memo showed Perry ” … attempting to involve himself in nearly every aspect of the campaign to block Biden’s win. They also reveal Perry to be someone who appeared to sincerely buy into outlandish conspiracy theories that the election was stolen by an array of shadowy international cyber warriors — and who was willing to use his position and influence in government to sow doubt and subvert the vote based on those deeply paranoid convictions,” the online news organization reported.

He was one of Meadows’ most frequent correspondents, sending at least 62 messages between Election Day, on Nov. 3, 2020, through Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, according to Talking Points Memo.

Perry was one of seven Pennsylvania Republicans who signed onto a lawsuit, filed by Texas’ attorney general, seeking to overturn Biden’s victory in four battleground states, including the Keystone State. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the legal action in December 2020.

One of the participants in the text chain, U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., sent a message to Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021, urging former President Donald Trump to declare martial law to prevent President Joe Biden from taking office three days later on Jan. 20.

“Mark, in seeing what’s happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of � no return � in saving our Republic !! Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!” Norman wrote.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.