Texts show details of Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry’s role in plan to void 2020 election

  • Robby Brode

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP Photo

In this August 2021 file photo, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., answers a question from a reporter during a press conference held by the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington. The committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol has requested an interview with Perry. The Republican lawmaker is the first sitting congressman the panel has asked to speak with.

The Jan. 6 select committee received text messages sent to White House staff by Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry confirming Perry’s direct involvement in the Trump administration’s plan to nullify the presidential election in 2020.

In an exchange, on Dec. 26, 2020, Perry texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows: “Mark, I just checked as time keeps ticking. 11 days at 1/6 and 25 days at the inauguration. We have to go!”

Perry encouraged Meadows to speak to Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department who was sympathetic to Trump’s lies about voter fraud. The two had planned to plead for Clark’s promotion to Attorney General. A U.S. Senate report said Clark planned to say the DOJ was investigating Georgia’s election results, despite no evidence to warrant an investigation.

This message was one of multiple Perry sent to Meadows revealed in a file Friday in federal court by the special committee of January 6. The back-and-forth shines a light on Perry’s involvement in Trump’s plan to overturn the legal election results and stay in power despite his loss.

Trump met with Clark at the White House the following week and discussed his elevation to attorney general, but did not move forward after Justice Department officials and White House lawyers threatened to resign.

But Perry’s text messages to Meadows arrived while that plan was still active.

“Mark, you should call Jeff,” he wrote of Clark. “I just hung up on him and he explained to me why the senior deputy wouldn’t work specifically with the FBI. They will see it as [sic] not having the power to enforce what needs to be done.

Meadows replied, “Let me work on the assistant position.”

Perry replied two days later: “Did you call Jeff Clark?

Clark resigned from the DOJ a week after the January 6 uprising.

The committee did not subpoena Perry to testify, but he is the first sitting lawmaker to receive a request from the committee to testify.

Perry was one of eight Pennsylvania Republicans who voted against the Commission.

He called the investigation one of the “failures of the radical left” and “illegitimate,” although federal courts have repeatedly upheld his document requests.

Tuesday, CNN published texts Meadows gave to the Jan. 6 committee that show Perry appearing to be urging Meadows to push the debunked claims that Dominion voting machines were hacked by China.

“From a friend of Intel: DNI must instruct the NSA to immediately seize and begin searching for Dominion-related international communications,” Perry wrote to Meadows five days after the 2020 election.

He also accused then CIA director Gina Haspel of “covering up” for those involved in the machines.

Scott Perry House Freedom Caucus

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP Photo

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., discusses the infrastructure bill making its way through Congress during a press conference held by the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, August 23, 2021.

Perry, a fifth-term Republican who represents Dauphin and parts of York and Cumberland counties, began his term earlier this year as chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative House Republican members. The group formed in 2015 and does not make its members public. There are 43 U.S. House Representatives who have identified themselves as members, many of whom are members of President Joe Biden. the biggest detractors on Capitol Hill.

Members of the Freedom Caucus worked to advance Trump’s agenda.

Sometimes they used misinformation to do so, like when they called mail-in ballots “subject to fraud”. It is fake. Numerous independent studies and election security officials have found no widespread voter fraud in the country, including with mail-in voting.

According to the New York Times, Perry and other members of the House Freedom Caucus held regular calls and meetings with Trump and his top aides in December 2020 as they strategized to void the election.

Texts revealed by the Jan. 6 committee show Perry tried to pressure the Justice Department to substantiate false allegations of widespread voter fraud, including “allegations that Dominion voting machines had been corrupted.” Perry was identified as “particularly noteworthy” by the Committee, which recommended further investigation beyond his findings.

Hours after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters, Perry voted not to certify Pa’s results despite county, state and federal judges and officials from both political parties and election experts, having concluded that the 2020 elections were free and fair.

Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research and the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin & Marshall College, said Perry’s voter fraud allegations do not match the facts.

“He was clearly one of the leaders who tried to overturn the election results. An election, I might add, that he won hands down,” Yost said, adding that he understands Perry’s rhetoric is a tool to “excite” his supporters.

“It’s really a dangerous thing for democracy. We have to trust our processes. And that’s a real problem continually questioning the legitimacy of an election that, frankly, has been very good for Republicans at all levels. It doesn’t make much sense.

In the court filing, the committee described Perry’s false allegations of voter fraud that it reported to the DOJ. He alleged that 205,000 more votes were cast than registered voters in the Commonwealth. In reality, votes in Pennsylvania were the same amount as registered voters who voted, according to a verification of the Commonwealth election.

Perry falsely claimed that more than 4,000 Pennsylvanians had voted more than once. But only three cases of double voting have been identified so far in Pennsylvania, and all three were attempts to vote twice. for Trump.

He also claimed that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar were responsible for creating “confusion, chaos and fear” among voters of being infected with COVID-19 by encouraging voters to vote by mail rather than in person. Pennsylvania officials have repeatedly said they have promoted voting by mail to ensuring equitable access to voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yost said Perry continues to spread disinformation about Pennsylvania’s election security, despite the claims’ unpopularity.

According to polls conducted last year by F&M’s Center for Opinion Research, 51% of respondents ‘strongly disagree’ with the eight PA representatives in Congress who voted against certification of the 2020 election results. of the Commonwealth. When Republicans in the state legislature were planning an investigation into the election, which is currently underway, 45% of those polled said they “strongly oppose” such an investigation. And, about 9 in 10 people said another event like the attack on the Capitol on January 6 would be “bad for our democracy.”

“When we ask about the most important issues facing the state, election integrity very rarely comes up. People care about the economy. They care that the government is so divided and the politicians are not doing anything,” he said. “I’m concerned that we’ve had multiple recounts in this state, there’s no evidence of that, that multiple challenges have brought that down.”

The 2020 primary and general elections in Pennsylvania were determined several times be accurate, legal and secured by various election security authorities both within and outside the Commonwealth.

Perry did not return a request for comment.

Pennsylvania Republican Lawmakers and the Attack on the US Capitol

As part of WITF’s commitment to standing up for the facts, and because the January 6 attack on the US Capitol was an attempt to overthrow representative democracy in America, we mark elected officials’ ties to the insurgency. Learn more about this commitment.

U.S. Rep. Perry (R, PA-10) is among 146 members of Congress who voted to overturn the certified result of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election, despite no evidence that would challenge it.

To see the full list of Pennsylvania elected officials who have taken action to fuel or amplify the voter fraud lie, click here.

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