By Karen L. Dalton
This is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District.
Dear Rep. Perry:
Officer Brian Sicknick died of injuries sustained protecting you and your colleagues on January 6.
Sicknick was 42 years-old when he died. He was a member of the Air Force National Guard and a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police. And, according to news reports, a supporter of President Trump.
His death now brings the total number of those killed during the attack on the U.S. Capitol to five. Among the other four who died was a man from Pennsylvania. These deaths are in addition to the over 50 U.S. Capitol police officers injured.
Can you please tell me – – tell all your constituents – – how this happened?
I’ll tell you how I believe this happened.
It happened because people who looked to their elected representatives for leadership – – for truth – – got nothing but lies.
Clearly, the marauders that invaded the U.S. Capitol broke the law. They deserve to be punished. But it must be remembered that they took the law into their own hands because their elected leaders lied to them. They were lied to about the outcome of the election, about non-existent voter fraud, and about Congress’ role in the counting of the electoral votes.
A continual barrage of lies convinced them they were patriots trying to overturn a stolen election.
The mob exploded inside the Capitol like a bomb. The president, his campaign, and the members of Congress who supported his lies were the bomb-makers. The bomb makers worked diligently to create an incendiary device through rhetoric that glorified violence (“trial by combat,”), and a slowly burning fuse of baseless lawsuits filed coast to coast.
In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign complained about irregularities even before the election took place. The Trump Campaign lost a lawsuit filed in federal court which was decided in early October. After the election, the campaign lost two lawsuits filed in November.
But the message heard throughout America was that not only were the votes fraudulent, the courts were, too. In both written statement and floor debate mere hours after blood was spilled in the U.S. Capitol, you called the highest court in Pennsylvania a “rogue” court.
Not once, Congressman Perry, did I hear you criticize or condemn the efforts by the president, his campaign or other elected leaders to disenfranchise me and other Pennsylvania voters.
On November 27, 2020, Judge Stephanos Bibas of the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, rejected the Trump Campaign’s attempt to throw out the ballots of 1.5 million citizens of Pennsylvania who voted by mail. Although Judge Bibas was appointed by President Trump, he made it clear that his duty was to follow the law and not the person who appointed him.
Judge Bibas wrote that even though 2.6 million Pennsylvanians voted by mail, the Trump Campaign sought to set aside – – “cherry-pick” – – only the 1.5 million ballots cast in Democratic areas. “The Campaign would set aside 1.5 million votes without even alleging fraud,” the judge wrote. The judge noted that if he granted the campaign’s wish of making 1.5 million ballots disappear it would “disrupt every down-ballot race.”
In mid-December, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the most outrageous and destructive lawsuit of all the meritless lawsuits seeking to overturn the election, that filed by Texas against Pennsylvania and three other states.
Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to not permit the electoral votes of Pennsylvania and the other three states to be counted.
Texas sought to nullify all of the 6.7 million votes cast in Pennsylvania, mine included. The reason given for the attempt to disenfranchise the entire voting population of Pennsylvania and three other states was “expert analysis” showing “substantial reason to doubt the voting results in the Defendant States.”
Texas alleged that the probability of Joe Biden winning the popular vote independently in Pennsylvania and the other states was less than “one in a quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000” given that President Trump had an early lead the morning of Nov. 4.
Further, according to Texas, “For former Vice President Biden to win in the four States collectively, the odds of that event decreases to less than one in a quadrillion to the fourth power (i.e., 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000).” Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court saw this attempt to wipe out the votes of four states for what it was: a shameless attempt to overturn the will of the voters to curry favor with a deranged president.
Instead of fighting the effort of Texas to nullify the votes of over 6 million Pennsylvania citizens, you signed on to this lawsuit.
As my congressman, you had a duty to defend my right to vote. You had a duty to defend the legitimacy of the election results in Pennsylvania, results which were scrutinized by state courts, federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court and upheld.
Your statements in support of the efforts of the president and his campaign are a matter of public record. So is your support of the lawsuit from Texas seeking to throw out the vote of 6.7 million Pennsylvanians. So is your objection to the counting of the electoral vote of Pennsylvania hours after Officer Brian Sicknick died.
Why did you not defend my right to vote? Why did you not defend all of Pennsylvania voters’ right to vote? Why didn’t you seek to defuse the time bomb built by the president and his campaign? Why did you let that bomb explode on Jan. 6?
I respectfully await your answer.
Karen L. Dalton graduated from The Dickinson School of Law in 1993, and was a staff attorney for the Republican caucus in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 26 years. Karen is now retired and writes as a private citizen.