In the first televised hearing on the Jan. 6 attack, the committee investigating the insurrection said it had evidence that the Republican congressman from Dauphin County sought a pardon for his role in conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
US Rep. Scott Perry had a primetime moment Thursday.
In the first of six televised hearings held by the US House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, the committee said it had evidence that the five-term Republican congressman from Dauphin County had sought a pardon from then-President Donald Trump for his role in conspiring to challenge and overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after Jan. 6 to seek a presidential pardon,” US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), the vice chairwoman of the committee, said. “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”
While Cheney offered no other details, and her comments appeared to be the first time the committee had publicly confirmed Perry’s efforts to seek a pardon, it certainly isn’t the first time Perry’s name has been linked to efforts to overturn the election in favor of Trump.
In January 2021, Perry was the subject of a New York Times report, alleging that he had played “an important role” in efforts to install Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general after William Barr resigned from that post in December 2020.
Perry reportedly introduced Trump to Clark who, according to the newspaper, discussed a plan to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Perry initially denied the report, only to confirm it several days later. Gov. Tom Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta all called on Perry to resign in the wake of the report.
Perry was also cited more than 50 times in a Senate Judiciary report released last October outlining how Trump’s effort to overturn his 2020 election defeat brought the Justice Department to the brink of chaos and prompted top officials there and at the White House to threaten to resign.
Perry, who has continuously disputed the validity of President Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, has said he obliged Trump’s request for an introduction to Clark, then an assistant attorney general whom Perry knew from unrelated legislative matters. The three men went on to discuss their shared concerns about the election, Perry has said.
The Senate report outlined a call Perry made to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue in December 2020 to say the department wasn’t doing its job with respect to the elections. Perry encouraged Donoghue to elicit Clark’s help because he’s “the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this,” the report said.
Perry has previously said his “official communications” with Justice Department officials were consistent with the law.
Following the 2020 election, Perry, along with more than half of the Republicans in Pennsylvania’s Legislature and seven other Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania, tried in court and in Congress to block the state’s electoral votes from going to Biden.
More recently, the Jan. 6 committee requested an interview and phone records from Perry late last year, in hopes of obtaining information about meetings Perry had with Trump prior to the attack on the US Capitol where they discussed strategies about how to block the results at the Jan. 6 electoral count. Perry denied those requests.
After being subpoenaed to testify before the committee, Perry refused to show for a scheduled deposition late last month. His attorney, John P. Rowley, instead sent a five-page letter reiterating Perry’s belief that the committee overstepped its authority and that the subpoena was not properly served making it null and void.
Perry has yet to comment on Thursday’s hearing. In an email to the Times, Perry spokesperson Jay Ostrich, called the assertion of Perry seeking a presidential pardon “a ludicrous and soulless lie.”
Perry is up for reelection in November.
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