Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) announced on Tuesday that he will not voluntarily cooperate with the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot after the panel requested he give testimony and submit relevant documents.
“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,” Perry tweeted.
“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.”
Perry, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump who was recently elected to serve as the next chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is the first sitting lawmaker to whom the panel reached out as part of their probe, though they stopped short of slapping him with a subpoena.
The committee wants Perry to answer questions about his involvement with the Trump administration’s push to install Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark — whom the committee recently recommended be held in contempt for his failure to comply with their subpoena — as acting attorney general.
Clark, a former assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Civil Division, is accused of boosting then-President Trump’s claims that election fraud in key states cost him the 2020 presidential election. An October report issued by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats alleged that top Justice Department officials met with Trump three days before the riot and threatened a mass resignation if Clark was given the acting AG job.
In a letter sent to Perry on Monday, committee Chairman Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote that former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue had submitted information indicating “that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General … and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans.”
Thompson also noted “mutiple text and other communications” between Perry and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about a potential Clark appointment.
“When Mr. Clark decided to invoke his 5th Amendment rights,” Thompson wrote, “he understood that we planned to pose questions addressing his interactions with you, among a host of other topics.”
Trump allies have accused the panel of conducting a politically motivated probe, with many opting not to cooperate with their subpoenas. Committee members say the witnesses they have called could provide critical information surrounding the events that took place ahead of violence that occurred when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the election results.
The committee had no immediate response to Perry’s statement Tuesday.