Capitol Riot Panel Asks to Question First Lawmaker in Probe
(Bloomberg) -- The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Monday asked GOP Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania to voluntarily agree to a meeting, the panel’s first public request to talk to a sitting member of Congress.
Committee members want to talk to Perry about his involvement in or knowledge of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to install then-acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark as head of the Justice Department to lead that agency in challenging the 2020 presidential election results.
In a letter to Perry, Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, also asks that Perry provide the panel with “all relevant electronic or other communications, including communications with the former president, the Trump legal team, and others who were involved in planning the events of January 6th.”
“The Select Committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its Members. At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully all of these facts and circumstances,” Thompson wrote.
The panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans has received evidence “from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General,” the letter says. It says that Perry had “multiple text and other communications” with Trump’s then-White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, including some using the encrypted Signal app.
“We also ask that you provide us with 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,” Thompson wrote.
The committee wants Perry to meet with the committee sometime next week or in early January.
Perry’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The panel’s effort to interview him is likely to intensify Republican accusations that the investigation is a partisan undertaking.
Clark allegedly pressured colleagues at the department to assist in Trump’s failed attempts to undo his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The idea of appointing him attorney general was abandoned only after much of the Justice Department’s leadership team and the White House counsel threatened to resign, according to a Senate committee report.
Clark has told the Jan. 6 committee he plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.
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