GOP congressman rejects Jan. 6 committee records request

The committee had asked for records from Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry.

December 21, 2021, 11:59 AM

GOP Rep. Scott Perry on Tuesday rejected a request for records from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Perry, a leader of the House Freedom Caucus who communicated with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows ahead of the attack, was the target of the committee's first known request to a sitting GOP lawmaker.

According to the committee, Perry played an "important role" in efforts to install former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark -- who pushed questionable claims of election fraud -- as acting attorney general.

Clark appeared before the committee with his attorney on Nov. 5 in response to a subpoena, but he refused to answer any questions about his knowledge of Georgia election law, his conversations with members of Congress and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to get the Justice Department to investigate baseless claims of election fraud.

PHOTO: Representative Scott Perry speaks during a news conference with members of the Freedom Caucus outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 3, 2020.
Representative Scott Perry speaks during a news conference with members of the Freedom Caucus outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 3, 2020.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

The committee said in a letter to Perry that it was "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 continued, "In addition, we have information indicating that you communicated at various relevant times with the White House and others involved in other relevant topics, including regarding allegations that the Dominion voting machines had been corrupted."

In a statement on Twitter rejecting the committee's request, Perry said, "I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives."

The Jan. 6 panel had requested Perry turn over his records and meet with investigators next week or in early January.

The committee has disclosed in recent days that several GOP lawmakers communicated with Meadows before and during the Capitol attack, according to the thousands of pages of emails and text messages he turned over to the committee before he reversed course and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the conservative Trump ally on Capitol Hill, was one of the GOP lawmakers to text Meadows -- and forwarded along to him a presentation from a former Pentagon official that recommended Vice President Mike Pence reject some of the electoral results during the Jan. 6 count on Capitol Hill.

"Mr. Jordan forwarded the text to Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was a forward," Jordan spokesman Russell Dye told ABC News.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., displayed the message in the committee's meeting last week.

Conservative "Stop the Steal" movement leader Ali Alexander told congressional investigators that he interacted with various members of Congress leading up to the Capitol riot.

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican running for Senate, confirmed that he received a message from someone purporting to be Alexander but denied having any role in organizing the Capitol protests and called the message "100% benign."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, a member of the Jan. 6 committee, told ABC's "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday that "it's possible" some GOP colleagues are responsible for the attack and that some should appear before the committee.

"Nobody -- member of Congress, former president, nobody -- in America is above the law," he said.

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