In this image from video, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., speaks at the U.S. Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. After two days of silence Perry confirmed a New York Times report, saying Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 that he had introduced then-President Donald Trump to a top Justice Department lawyer who, according to the newspaper, then discussed a plan to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Julia Agos is a reporter and the host of All Things Considered for WITF. Previously, she was a political reporter for WFUV News in New York, where she covered New York City and state politics and hosted the Prickly Politics Podcast. Julia grew up in Sacramento, California and graduated from Fordham University.
(Washington) — Midstate GOP Congressman Scott Perry appeared to minimize the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol while criticizing Democratic leadership for not doing more to prevent it.
His statements during an appearance on C-SPAN Thursday conflict with how federal investigators describe the insurrection.
Perry voted against a commission to study the riot.
“We saw it with our own eyes. When you say it didn’t happen… we saw it with our own eyes and why are you so afraid, any of us, to see what happened?” said Celeste from Sharon, Pennsylvania.
“I never said it didn’t happen. I saw the same thing… I was here, ma’am, living right through it,” Perry said.
But the Congressman appeared to indicate at least some attackers were innocent.
“There was no arms that came in as far as I know, other than the people who were armed at the Capitol as security. No arms came into the Capitol with the people that did walk in,” he said.
Federal charging documents related to the attack identify a number of weapons including handguns, stun guns, chemical spray, baseball bats, and flagpoles as clubs. Police union representatives say 140 officers were injured in the attack.
Video and charging documents show attackers chanted “Hang Mike Pence” and roamed the Capitol halls trying to find him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
There were also pipe bombs found at the Democratic and Republican parties headquarters the night before the insurrection.
Another caller said Republicans who voted against the commission were afraid it would show they played a role in the attack.
Perry, who represents Dauphin County along with parts of Cumberland and York counties, said Republicans are “happy to have an open investigation,” and that “if people are culpable … justice needs to prevail in that regard.”
Several GOP members, including Perry, have suggested a broader commission to look into the protests and civil unrests last summer following the murder of George Floyd.
Perry was one of eight Pa. Republicans who voted against the commission. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks County joined 34 of his GOP colleges to vote in favor of the commission.
Pa. Republican lawmakers and the U.S. Capitol attack As part of WITF’s commitment to standing with facts, and because the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attempt to overthrow representative democracy in America, we are marking elected officials’ connections to the insurrection. Read more about this commitment.
Congressman Perry is part of what’s called the “Sedition Caucus” of 138 U.S. House members who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election despite no evidence to support election-fraud claims. The election-fraud lie led to the attack on the Capitol.