Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, as well as multiple other Republican lawmakers, contacted the White House in the weeks after Jan. 6, 2021, to seek presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the presidential election results, the Jan. 6 select committee revealed Thursday in its prime-time hearing on the Capitol attack.
“Rep. Scott Perry … has refused to testify here,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), vice chair of the select committee, said as she opened its case to the American public. “As you will see, Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after Jan. 6 to seek a presidential pardon. Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election”
The new details surfaced during the panel’s first public hearing, as the bipartisan committee launched the unveiling of its findings of a yearlong investigation into the insurrection. It’s the first of a string of hearings scheduled in the coming weeks that are set to paint a picture of a carefully planned and orchestrated attack on American democracy.
Perry was a major actor in then-President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, connecting Trump with Jeffrey Clark, an official in the Department of Justice who supported Trump’s efforts, according to testimony and documents obtained by the committee.
Cheney on Thursday talked about how close the former president came to appointing Clark as acting attorney general, and that the former president wanted Clark to send a letter to Georgia and five other states saying that “the U.S. Department of justice had ‘identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election.’”
“This letter is a lie,” Cheney said.
Perry, who is now chair of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, repeatedly pushed Trump’s chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows, to implement the plan to sow doubt in the election results.
“Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down,” Perry texted Meadows on Dec. 26, 2020, according to messages released by the select panel. “11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!”
These efforts were halted after other Justice Department leaders threatened to resign if Trump moved forward with selecting Clark as attorney general.
Perry has not complied with a subpoena for his testimony, and as POLITICO reported last week, the select committee was told that Meadows burned papers after meeting with the Republican in his office at the White House. The meeting took place in the weeks after Election Day in 2020, as Trump and his allies began seeking ways to overturn the loss against Joe Biden.
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