Jan. 6 Committee Invites Coup- Curious Rep. Scott Perry In For A Little Chat
Yesterday the House January 6 Select Committee crossed another rubicon, requesting to speak to a sitting member of Congress about his involvement in the events leading up to the January 6 insurrection. Did we tell you that Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Scott Perry was going to get his turn in the sun? Oh, we did? Good on us then!
In fairness, it wasn't hard to predict, since CNN reported in August that Perry, one of the most dogged proponents of the Big Lie, was up to his ass in the effort to get Jeffrey Clark installed as head of the Justice Department, from which perch he could launch investigations of nonexistent election fraud in swing states and give legislatures a pretext to claw back their electors and recast them for Trump.
Or, as Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson put it:
We have received evidence from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General. Acting Attorney General Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue have provided evidence regarding these issues, and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans. 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.
It's nice of Thompson to let witnesses know up front that he's already got 'em by the short and curlies, in case Perry wasn't already on notice that the committee had a whole bunch of his comms after Vice Chair Liz Cheney read that text saying, “Please check your signal” during the vote to hold Mark Meadows in contempt. The Washington Postconfirms that Perry sent that text to Meadows, who turned it over to the committee as a non-privileged document before he stomped off and quit cooperating. So Perry knows that Thompson and Cheney already have at least some of his comms.
Thompson went on to say that he's also holding "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."
Translation: Your pals already sold you out, asshole.
And while this request to come in for an interview ASAP is voluntary, Thompson hints that a subpoena might be forthcoming.
"The Select Committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its Members," he writes. "At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully all of these facts and circumstances."
For his part, Perry seems entirely disinclined to cooperate.
"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," he tweeted this morning. "I decline this entity’s request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left who desperately seek distraction from their abject failures of crushing inflation, a humiliating surrender in Afghanistan, and the horrendous crisis they created at our border."
Which is cool and all, except that the DC Circuit just affirmed the legitimacy of the Select Committee when Trump sued Thompson to stop the National Archives from turning over his presidential records. And Perry, who was part of the successful effort to purge Liz Cheney from GOP leadership, saying that she "aided and comforted the enemy" with her vote to impeach Trump, knows he's not getting any cover from fellow Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Cheney.
Even if the committee fails to subpoena Perry, it clearly has a mountain of his comms. And Liz Cheney is not above reading them all into the congressional record on national television. The knives are out, and the cameras are ready for 2021.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.