Jan. 6 committee seeks first interview with sitting congressman
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The House panel investigating the Jan.6 U.S. Capitol uprising requested an interview with Republican Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania on Monday, marking the first time the committee has publicly sought to question a sitting member of Congress.
The latest demand kicks off a new phase for the committee’s lawmakers, who have so far resisted pursuing one of their own as they investigate the insurgency by supporters of President Donald Trump and his efforts to overthrow them. elections. Perry and other Congressional Republicans met with Trump before the attack and worked out a strategy on how they could block the results in the Jan. 6 election count.
In a letter to Perry, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, Democratic panel chairman, said the panel had received evidence from several witnesses that Perry had “an important role” in efforts to install the Department official. Justice Jeffrey Clark as Acting Attorney General.
“Acting Attorney General Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue have provided evidence regarding these matters, and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans,” Thompson said.
The letter requests an interview with Perry, who pushed the Justice Department to call off the election and met with Trump before the violent attack, investigators said.
The lawmaker representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania was cited more than 50 times in a Senate Judiciary Report released in October describing how Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 electoral defeat brought the Justice Department to the brink of chaos and instigated senior officials there and in the White House to threaten to resign.
Perry, who has continuously disputed the validity of President Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, said he granted Trump’s request to be presented to Clark, then Deputy Attorney General Perry knew about unrelated legislative matters. . The three then discussed their common concerns about the election, Perry said.
The Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state, and senior justice officials have dismissed Perry’s claims.
The recent Senate report describes a call Perry made to then-Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue last December to tell him the department was not doing its job on the elections. Perry encouraged Donoghue to enlist Clark’s help because he’s “the kind of guy who could really go in there and do something about it,” the report said.
Perry has previously said his “official communications” with Justice Department officials comply with the law.
The panel voted in November to despise Clark after he showed up for a deposition but declined to answer questions. But Thompson said he would stay the prosecution and allow Clark to attend another deposition and try again. Clark’s attorney said Clark intended to assert his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate, but the deposition was repeatedly postponed as Clark dealt with an unidentified health issue.
The panel has already interviewed around 300 people in an attempt to create a comprehensive record of the attack and the events leading up to it.
At the time, Trump was pushing false claims of widespread electoral fraud and pressuring Vice President Mike Pence and Republican members of Congress to try to overturn the tally during congressional certification on Jan.6. Election officials across the country, as well as the courts, have repeatedly rejected Trump’s claims.
An angry crowd of Trump supporters echoed his false claims as they brutally beat Capitol Police and stormed into the building that day, disrupting Biden’s certification of victory.
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