“Representative Perry has instructed us to work with the Department of Justice to ensure that the Justice Department receives information to which it is entitled, including communications protected under the Speech and Debate Clause of the United States Constitution and communications with counsel,” Irving said.
Sources point to the DOJ’s interest in Perry as unrelated to the FBI’s effort to retrieve presidential records that may have been improperly stockpiled in Trump’s private estate.
The office of the Justice Department’s inspector general, who declined to comment, is leading the election fraud investigation. FBI agents acting on behalf of the inspector general in June He seized the phone Attorney John Eastman was involved in that effort. A Perry spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The seizure of Perry’s phone was related to the inspector general’s investigation. According to CNN.
While dozens of GOP lawmakers were named in a Jan. 6 select committee hearing as aiding or abetting Trump’s attempt to cling to power, Perry’s involvement stood out, which may have been behind the seizure of his cell phone. Here are the various sources congressional investigators have uncovered about Perry’s role to date.
Raising Geoffrey Clarke
Senate Judiciary Committee and Jan. 6 Testimony released by a select committee hearing showed that Perry nominated Jeffrey Clarke, then a little-known Justice Department official, to lead the agency after the 2020 election. Trump’s allies found Clarke too sympathetic to investigations into unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
Investigators have shown Perry helped introduce Clark to Trump and his associates. Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told lawmakers at a meeting that Perry “‘I think Jeff Clarke is great, and I think he’s the kind of guy who can do something about this.'” That came after the president mentioned Mr. Clarke in a call that afternoon.
Visitor records published by select committee, Dec. 22, 2020 Perry brought Clark to the White House and helped introduce him to Trump.
In speeches released by the select committee, Perry urged then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to promote Clark.
“Code, check in as time continues to count. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days of inauguration. We have to go! ” Perry wrote in a text message on December 26, 2020, later adding, “Mark, you should call Jeff.”
Trump rejected the leadership of the DOJ and installed Clark in the days before Jan. 6, only relenting when senior White House and Justice Department leaders threatened to resign en masse.
Encrypted messages with Meadows
In the same Dec. 26, 2020, text exchange, Perry said he sent a message to Meadows using an encrypted messaging service called Signal: “Did you call Jeff Clark?” Although the National Archives has it, it is not clear whether anyone kept the signal chats previously agreed upon Meadows did not “properly” store all records from her phone and email account.
January 6 Exam Committee Testified Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, said she heard that the chief of staff had burned papers in his office after meeting with Perry at the White House, though it was unclear what the documents contained.
Planning Trump’s January 6 Strategy
Perry also participated in a December 21, 2020 White House meeting with lawmakers from the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, which Perry chaired, during which they discussed strategies to block or delay Joe Biden’s January 6 certification of victory. They focused specifically on then-Vice President Mike Pence’s electoral vote count.
Hutchinson recalled the presence of White House lawyers and plans by Perry and other Trump allies to “push back” Pence Biden’s electorate on Jan. 6. Trump voters. White House lawyers didn’t think the plan was “legally sound,” Hutchinson testified.
Taking Trump to the Capitol on January 6
Hutchinson’s testimony also revealed plans for Trump to visit the Capitol on Jan. 6 — and that Meadows and Perry have discussed that plan.
“I remember hearing some very different ideas being discussed between Mark [Meadows] and Scott Perry, Mark and Rudy Giuliani,” Hutchinson told lawmakers. “I do not know what conversations were raised to the President. I don’t know what he personally wanted to do when he got to the Capitol that day.
Hutchinson similarly told the select committee that Perry was supportive of floated plans to invite Trump supporters. To march on the Capitol.
After the Jan. 6 riot, Perry was one of a handful of GOP lawmakers who discussed the possibility of a pardon from Trump, according to Hutchinson. None of them were eventually pardoned.
“Mr. Perry apologized,” Hutchinson told lawmakers, who spoke directly with her.
Perry has He refused to apologize for himself or other lawmakersAnother lawmaker, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), conceded his own request for a pardon related to his objections to electoral votes. Posted an email From him he put his request in writing to the White House.
“The president thought it was best to let it play out,” Brooks told reporters in June.