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How Pa. Rep. Scott Perry promoted election lies between Election Day and January 6

The midstate Pa. congressman has rejected multiple subpoena and interview requests from the Jan. 6 committee.

  • Robby Brod
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.

House Television / AP Photo

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.

Update 8:54 p.m. June 9: During opening remarks Thursday, Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee,  revealed that Rep. Scott Perry called the White House in the weeks following the Capitol attack to request a pardon. “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election,” she said.

Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jonathan Tamari tweeted a response from Perry:

The spokesman’s response was dismissed by Jan. 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson:

Reported previously:

The House Jan. 6 committee has identified midstate Pa. Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry as a person of interest in their investigation into the Capitol insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Perry, a six-term congressman from Dillsburg who heads the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, voted against certifying Pa.’s electoral votes hours after the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6. He admitted that he had introduced Trump to Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who was sympathetic to Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. 

The New York Times reported the two discussed ways to decertify Georgia’s Electoral College results. Perry, in January 2021, said he discussed election fraud issues with Clark, but was not specific. Publicly released text messages show he also communicated with Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about ways to overturn the election.

From Election Day to Jan. 6, Perry promoted baseless conspiracy theories. The Jan. 6 committee has said he worked with the Trump White House to undermine the results of the 2020 election. Perry has refused multiple subpoenas and requests to be interviewed from the committee.

Perry condemned the insurrection, despite spreading disinformation that motivated the attack, according to reporting from news organizations, investigations, and public records.

The Jan. 6 committee has also subpoenaed Pa. Republican Sen. Doug Mastriano for his involvement in Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 Election.

Here’s the timeline for how Doug Mastriano promoted election lies between Election Day and Jan. 6.

Information used in these timelines comes from the Jan. 6 committee, the lawmaker’s social media pages, public records, and other reporting.

 

Timeline of Rep. Perry’s history of spreading disinformation about the 2020 Election and attempting to overturn its results.

Timeline of Rep. Perry’s history of spreading disinformation about the 2020 Election and attempting to overturn its results. (Robby Brod)

Between the election and Jan. 6, Republican U.S. Representative Scott Perry repeatedly spread election security disinformation on social media, claiming there were enough irregularities to warrant the results to be overturned, and calling on federal officials to intervene.

Hours after the Jan. 6 insurrection, Perry led the objection to counting Pa.’s electoral votes on the House floor. Later, Perry directly communicated his election fraud claims to multiple DOJ officials, and introduced Trump to DOJ Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who was “sympathetic” to Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

The following timeline of Perry’s actions comes from information on his congressional website, social media pages, the Jan. 6 committee report, and texts submitted into evidence by the committee.

  • 11/6/20 – Perry speaks at a rally at the Pa. Capitol Building, claiming the election was being stolen in Pa. No widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2020 Election.
  • 11/6/2020 – Perry posts on Facebook celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court ordering Pa. late ballots to be separated. Perry falsely claims there was fraud in the election.
  • 11/9/2020 – Shares letter sent to Gov. Wolf outlining debunked claims of widespread fraud.
  • 11/12/2020 – Celebrates Commonwealth Court order barring Pa. election officials from counting mail-in ballots that were verified after Nov. 9.
  • 11/19/2020 – Spreads disinformation about election security on a FOX Business morning show. Claims the election was illegitimate based on “irregularities” county-to-county. Elections in Pa. are run by counties, but Perry did not offer evidence of any irregularities.
  • 11/25/2020 – Promotes hearing with Giuliani re: false claims of widespread election fraud.
  • 12/1/2020 – Perry spreads disinformation about election security on the same FOX Business morning show.
  • 12/3/2020 – Calls on Attorney General William Barr to “release the findings of the Department of Justice’s investigation into allegations of 2020 election fraud.”
  • 12/10/2020 – Calls for federal action in Pa.’s elections based on “inconsistent application” of the state’s election law.
  • 12/11/2020 – Goes on Harrisburg radio show to spread disinformation about widespread election fraud.
  • 12/21/2020 – Trump meets with Scott Perry and other House Freedom Caucus members to strategize about January 6.
  • 12/23/2020 – Around this date, Jeffrey Clark meets with Trump and Perry in the Oval Office, which violates the DOJ-White House contacts policy.
  • 12/26/2020 – Perry texts former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows: “Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down… 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!” Asks him to text Jeffrey Clark: “I just got off the phone with him and he explained to me why the principal deputy won’t work especially with the FBI. They will view it as as [sic] not having the authority to enforce what needs to be done.”
  • 12/27/2020 – Perry calls former DOJ official Richard Donoghue at Trump’s behest to discuss a false claim that Pennsylvania had 205,000 more votes than voters. Perry also tells Donoghue that DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark is “the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this.”
  • 12/28/2020 – Spreads disinformation about data discrepancies in Pa. elections.
  • 12/28/2020 – Asks Mark Meadows if he reached out to Jeffrey Clark.
  • 1/4/2021 – Objects to certification of Pa.’s electoral votes.
  • 1/5/2021 – Falsely accuses House Democrats of conspiring to hide election fraud.
  • 1/5/2021 – Perry promotes Pa. Senate letter calling for delay in counting legally cast votes.
  • 1/6/2021 – President Trump encourages his supporters to march to the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes.
  • 1/6/2021 – Perry condemns Jan. 6 violence in multiple social media posts.
  • 1/7/2021 – Vice President Pence officially affirms the Electoral College votes and declares Joseph R. Biden the president-elect.
  • 1/9/2021 – Perry acknowledges Biden as POTUS, but still says enough constitutional violations occurred to warrant an investigation into the election.
  • 1/13/2021 – Likens Jan. 6 backlash to House Speaker Pelosi’s tweet about Russian election interference before Robert Mueller’s appointment to investigate allegations of collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian officials.
  • 1/13/2021 – Votes against Trump’s second impeachment, a result of the Jan. 6 insurrection, calling it an “IMPEACHMENT SHAM.”
  • 1/20/2021 – Joseph R. Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America.
  • 1/20/2021 – Perry acknowledges Biden as POTUS at Inauguration Day.
  • 1/25/2021 – Refuses to resign and blames “#cancelculture” for the criticism he received over the revelations that he connected Clark and Trump, and was working behind the scenes trying to pressure DOJ to act on Trump’s behalf.

 

Timeline of events involving Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano and midstate U.S. Rep. Scott Perry that were included in the Jan. 6 committee's report. (Robby Brod)

Timeline of events involving Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano and midstate U.S. Rep. Scott Perry that were included in the Jan. 6 committee’s report. (Robby Brod)

The House January 6th Select Committee released a report last year detailing how Trump and his allies planned to undermine the results of the 2020 Election.

The report designated Perry’s and Mastriano’s connections to the insurrection as “particularly notable.” Both lawmakers “participated in the pressure campaign against [the] DOJ” to help overturn the election, according to the report.

The report lists the following events related to Perry and Mastriano:

  • 12/21/2020 – Trump meets with Perry and other House Freedom Caucus members to strategize about January 6.
  • 12/23/2020 – Around this date, Jeffrey Clark meets with Trump and Perry in the Oval Office, which violates the DOJ-White House contacts policy.
  • 12/26/2020 – Perry texts former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows: “Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down… 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!”
  • 12/27/2020 – Perry emails former acting U.S. deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue five documents summarizing numerous false Pennsylvania election fraud claims.
  • 12/27/2020 – Perry calls Donoghue at Trump’s behest to discuss a false claim that Pennsylvania had 205,000 more votes than voters. Perry also tells Donoghue that Jeffrey Clark is “the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this.”
  • 12/29/2020 – Email from Mastriano to Donoghue regarding Pennsylvania allegations.
  • 1/6/2021 – President Trump encourages his supporters to march to the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes.
  • 1/6/2021 – Mastriano, who participated in Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud hearings, spent over $3,000 from his campaign account to bus people to the January 6 “Save America Rally,” and was present on the Capitol grounds as the insurrection unfolded. Like Perry, Mastriano also directly communicated with Donoghue about his false election fraud claims, according to the report.
  • 1/7/2021 – Vice President Pence officially affirms the Electoral College votes and declares Joseph R. Biden the president-elect.
  • 1/20/2021 – Joseph R. Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America.

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