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Jan. 6 committee wants information from Rep. Scott Perry

Panel request marks the probe's first public request of a member of Congress

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., joined by fellow House Republicans, speaks during a news conference on the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Washington on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., joined by fellow House Republicans, speaks during a news conference on the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Washington on Thursday, May 20, 2021. (CQ Roll Call)

The House committee investigating the Capitol attack is asking Rep. Scott Perry to voluntarily provide the panel with information, including the Pennsylvania Republican’s communications with former President Donald Trump, Trump’s legal team and others involved in planning the events of Jan. 6.

The request for records and for an interview with Perry marks the first formal, public action the committee has taken to glean information about the insurrection from a sitting member of Congress. Proposed dates for a meeting are Dec. 28, 29, Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, with a backup date the week of Jan. 10. The committee also notes it is willing to accommodate Perry’s schedule and could make plans to conduct the interview in his district, which includes York and Harrisburg, the state capital.

Perry’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The panel is asking Perry to voluntarily cooperate with them and provide “all relevant electronic or other communications on these and other topics related to January 6th, including your communications with the Trump legal team, the former President himself, and others who were involved in planning the events of January 6th,” panel Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote in a letter to Perry.

Thompson added that the panel is interested in examining an effort by Trump and others to install former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general. Clark met with Trump and White House officials to discuss ways to overturn Trump’s election loss, but Trump was unable to put Clark in the role because other Justice officials threatened to resign

Thompson wrote to Perry that the committee has received evidence from multiple witnesses that Perry had an “an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General.” The panel has noted that then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue provided evidence on those actions, and that those who worked with Clark were aware of such plans. 

On Nov. 5, at his first deposition, Clark was asked by Vice Chair Liz Cheney about when he first met Perry. However, Clark, the committee said, did not answer “pertinent questions,” leading them to recommend he be held in contempt of Congress.

In early December, the panel voted to recommend contempt, but the floor vote was halted because Clark came to an agreement with the committee to appear for another deposition in which he plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. 

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was held in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the panel last week. Ahead of the vote, several members of the committee presented text messages to Meadows from members, including one read by Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va. The text was sent by an unidentified member to Meadows on Jan. 5 that says “Please check your signal,” referring to the encrypted messaging application.

The committee’s letter to Perry references evidence the committee has of Perry using the Signal app. 

“We are also aware that you had multiple text and other communications with President Trump’s former Chief of Staff regarding Mr. Clark—and we also have evidence indicating that in that time frame you sent communications to the former Chief of Staff using the encrypted Signal app,” the letter said.

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