By Ryan Sanders
I first met Scott Perry when I was an intern (some time ago now) working for State Representative Stan Saylor – one of the hardest working and honest Republicans I know.
I have been affected by and engaged with Scott’s political career ever since then, as a small business owner and as a candidate for public office in central Pennsylvania.
Last week, I was ashamed – but, unfortunately, not surprised – to learn that Perry had betrayed our constitutional values, his oath of office that he swore to uphold, and has forever stained the history of our region and his record of public (dis)service.
According to published reports, Perry has confirmed that introduced a Justice Department lawyer to former President Donald Trump, as Trump pushed ahead with abortive plans to fire acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, an action that was only averted after threats of mass resignations.
Rosen had refused to send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers informing them of an investigation into voter fraud that could invalidate the state’s Electoral College results. Why did Rosen refuse?
Because there was and is no evidence of any significant fraud in the Georgia election results.
The only translation of these actions is that Perry conspired with the President of the United States and a member of the Justice Department to subvert the will of the American people!
The sad part to me is that this was entirely predictable.
Even back in the 1990s, when I first met him, Perry’s peers had doubts about him. They saw him as a suggestible follower rather than a leader. They saw him as a lazy individual who would rather talk about his past achievements than work to reach new ones. They thought he was a blowhard who hid his lack of intellectual capacity behind shiny regalia from his military service.
And he proved us right by following – and at times encouraging, as we now know – Trump down the false and dangerous rabbit hole of conspiracy-induced abyss of untruth. My very first impression of him was that he was a braggart, he loved boasting about himself. And he has fully embraced that trait by supporting the ultimate braggart – Trump, who now faces a second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.
Some of you reading this might have sympathy for the former president or agree with some of his policies. That is fine – it is not a question of policy positions. Behavior like Perry’s is simply unacceptable. Justice Department officials reported to The New York Times that, because of Perry’s intervention, Trump had called Clark directly on multiple occasions and that the two had met in person without alerting Rosen.
Justice Department policy stipulates that the president should initially communicate with the attorney general or the deputy attorney general on all matters, and then a lower-level official, if authorized. This is done to prevent any individual, particularly the most powerful individual on the planet, from interfering with an investigation. It is to protect the sanctity of our Constitution.
Perry has been at the center of the worst of Trump’s lies. He has supported the spread of conspiracy theories and actively deceived his constituents. He has pushed baseless stories that have served to radicalize and help detach from reality many in our nation.
Perry is part of what is wrong with American politics today. He is part of the reason why we, as Americans – as neighbors and fellow people, have such a difficult time engaging with each other.
None of that is what a member of the Unites States Congress is supposed to do. As the title – U.S. Representative – suggests, his job is to represent all his constituents, not just the ones who agree with and are ready to support him.
He has failed, fantastically, at his job. He has brought shame to our region of Pennsylvania, making us look like co-conspirators in his failed attempt to overthrow our American democracy.
He must resign. If he does not, Congress should enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution: “No person [who] shall be a…Representative in Congress…, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
I also ask the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to investigate Perry’s conduct.
Resign, Scott. Central Pennsylvania deserves representation that respects our voters and upholds our Republic.
Ryan Sanders is a small business owner and an adjunct professor in the University of Delaware. In 2010, he was the Democratic candidate for what was then the York County-based 19th Congressional District, which presaged the current 10th District.