GOP Rep. Scott Perry is the first sitting lawmaker the Jan. 6 panel wants to question

House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has requested that Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania provide information about his involvement in unsuccessfully seeking to install former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general of the United States.

“We have received evidence from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General,” Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote in a letter, made public by the committee, to Perry.

“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,” the letter continued.

Perry is the first sitting lawmaker that the panel has sought to question. NPR has reached out for comment, but Perry was not made available by publication time.

The panel is interested in Clark, the former Justice Department official, for his role in promoting baseless allegations of voter malfeasance in the 2020 election.

Clark rose to prominence in the wake of the 2020 presidential race, riding on a wave of baseless claims of election fraud against former President Donald Trump.

Clark had vowed to investigate these false claims of ballot tampering.

In the waning days of Trump’s presidency, the former president and Clark reportedly devised a scheme to oust then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who declined to pursue these erroneous charges of voter fraud, and take the job for himself.

At this point, the House committee has requested Perry’s voluntary cooperation, including in providing the panel “with all relevant electronic or other communications on these and other topics related to January 6th, including your communications with the Trump legal team, the former President himself, and others who were involved in planning the events of January 6th.”

If Perry declines to cooperate, however, it is likely that the panel will issue subpoenas to compel his cooperation.

In his letter, Thompson wrote that the committee is also seeking information regarding communications between Perry and the White House alleging that Dominion voting machines had been compromised — a major catalyst for the events on Jan. 6.

“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,” the chairman’s letter said.

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