The day after the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection called for an interview with Rep. Scott Perry (R -Pa.), the lawmaker on Tuesday said he would refuse to speak with the panel, citing failures of the “radical Left.”
“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 said in a statement. “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 and refuse to address at our southern border.”
On Monday, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) asked Perry to sit for an interview and provide the committee with communications Perry had with former President Donald Trump and with others regarding Jan. 6 events.
Chairman Thompson wrote, “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. Mr. Clark has informed us that he plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in anticipation of a deposition to be conducted by the Committee. When Mr. Clark decided to invoke his 5th Amendment rights, he understood that we planned to pose questions addressing his interactions with you, among a host of other topics.”
“In addition, we have 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.”
Responding to Perry’s rejection, a spokesperson for the select committee said if members with relevant information don’t cooperate, the panel “will consider seeking such information using other tools.”
According to the spokesperson, Perry has “information directly relevant” to the investigation.
Other potential witnesses who did not cooperate voluntarily received subpoenas, and continued refusal led the House to recommend that former Trump campaign adviser Steve Bannon and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows face criminal charges for contempt of Congress.
Taking that route with a sitting House member is more difficult — and may not be possible — because of protections they have under the Constitution and House rules.