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Report says Rep. Scott Perry, Trump collaborated on plan to overturn election results. Perry now faces calls to resign

In this image from video, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

 House Television / AP Photo

In this image from video, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

UPDATE: Rep. Scott Perry confirms he spoke with former President Donald Trump and Department of Justice lawyer Jeffrey Clark amid Trump’s effort to overturn Georgia’s election results.

(Harrisburg) — Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) is facing calls to resign after a published report said he collaborated with former President Donald Trump in a scheme to overturn legally certified election results in Georgia.

The New York Times reported Perry, who is just starting his fifth term, connected Trump with Philadelphia lawyer Jeffrey Clark, who was an acting assistant attorney general at the U.S. Justice Department and who was sympathetic to Trump’s effort to push an election-fraud lie to stay in power. It said Trump considered firing Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who was not willing to pursue Trump’s claims in the swing state.

Joe Biden won Georgia by almost 12,000 votes. Election fraud claims were repeatedly thrown out of court or debunked — including by the acting U.S. Attorney there who looked into the claims and said “there’s nothing to them.”

But, the Times wrote, “As the date for Congress to affirm Mr. Biden’s victory neared, Mr. Perry and Mr. Clark discussed a plan to have the Justice Department send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers informing them of an investigation into voter fraud that could invalidate the state’s Electoral College results.”

Trump didn’t carry out the plan.

Now Perry, who voted Jan. 6 against certifying Pennsylvania’s election results, is under fire.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party said Perry should be removed from Congressional committee assignments if he doesn’t resign. Perry is on committees for transportation and infrastructure, and foreign affairs.

“Scott Perry has disgraced South Central Pennsylvania, failed his country, and betrayed the trust of anyone who cares about our democracy. He is a stain on our Congress and must resign immediately,” the party said in a statement.

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), tweeted, “Hey @ScottPerry, resign.”

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, with a tweet referring to the 14th Amendment, appeared to indicate Perry has disqualified himself from holding office.

Section 3 says a person can’t hold certain offices, including U.S. representative, if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the (U.S.), or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Gov. Tom Wolf’s spokesperson, Lyndsay Kensinger, said in a statement that Perry has violated the oath of office he swore to uphold, and that the allegations should be investigated.

“No member of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation has done more to spread falsehoods and outright lies about the result of the Presidential election,” Kensinger said. “For months, Rep. Perry has ignored reality and purposefully spewed disinformation about our elections for personal political gain. This is shameful and destructive behavior, and dangerous for our democracy. And now we find out that he is alleged to have simultaneously abetted the former President as he sought to compromise the Department of Justice in an attempt to stop the peaceful transition of power that is the hallmark of American democracy.”

Former auditor general Eugene DePasquale, who lost to Perry in November, tweeted “Perry must go!”

And the Democratic Party of York County said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should call for Perry expulsion if he doesn’t resign immediately.

“There is no question he has been involved in treasonous activities in an attempt to usurp the United States Government,” according to a statement from the party. “From his continued calls to invalidate the 2020 election results to his involvement in coordinating an attempt to take over the United States Department of Justice with then President Trump, Perry has shown he is not serving the constituents of his district, nor is he focused on anything other than his own self being.

“Scott Perry has shown reckless and dangerous behaviors and needs to be gone from office as soon as possible to avoid further damage to our democracy.”

Perry is a member of the House’s conservative Freedom Caucus. During Trump’s term, he positioned himself as a reliable supporter of the former president, and he has supported conspiracy theories in the past. For example, in January 2018, he went on national TV and said there was credible evidence that ISIS was involved in the Las Vegas mass shooting. Perry offered nothing to back up his claims. The shooter had no ties to ISIS.

County, state and federal judges and public officials of both political parties, and election experts, have concluded the 2020 election was free and fair. Pennsylvania legally certified its electoral votes Dec. 14, and multiple courts dismissed election-challenge cases for reasons including lack of evidence and lack of standing to sue.

But seven Pa. congressmen, including Perry, signed on to a lawsuit filed by Texas that would have invalidated votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, citing a lack of standing for Texas to sue, and the two justices who said SCOTUS should hear the case said they would not have granted the relief it sought.

Perry could not be reached for comment. His most recent Facebook post was Jan. 22 about National Sanctity of Human Life Day. He has not tweeted since Jan. 6, when he condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Spokesmen for two top Republicans in the Pennsylvania House — Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff — did not return a request for comment. The Pennsylvania Republican Party had not issued a statement as of 2:25 p.m.

Others calling for Perry’s resignation included the Cumberland County Democratic Committee, the Dauphin County Democratic Committee, and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-4th), who is one of the House’s impeachment managers, did not call for Perry’s resignation in an interview with WPVI in Philadelphia, saying she wanted to see “what the evidence shows.”

The Times said its report was based on interviews with four unnamed former Trump administration officials. Clark told the Times that its report contained inaccuracies.

Perry, who served three terms as a state representative before running for Congress, retired from the Pennsylvania National Guard in 2019 after serving nearly 40 years and reaching the rank of brigadier general, according to the biography on his website. Yet he supported President Trump’s election-fraud lie, which culminated in Trump’s speech in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 when he urged his supporters to go to the Capitol and “’fight like hell” or they’re “not going to have a country anymore.” 

The violent mob breached the Capitol as lawmakers and others scrambled to protect themselves. Trump later was impeached, for the second time, and charged with inciting the attack.

Because of the violence, about 2,000 Pennsylvania National Guard members were among the more than 20,000 guard troops sent to Washington to prevent violence during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.




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