Rep. Scott Perry says he won't comply with January 6 committee's request for information: 'This entity is illegitimate'

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Rep. Scott Perry says he won't comply with January 6 committee's request for information: 'This entity is illegitimate'
Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania outside the Capitol on December 3, 2020.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images
  • Republican Rep. Scott Perry said on Tuesday that he will not cooperate with the January 6 committee.
  • Perry, the incoming head of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, called the committee "illegitimate."

Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday that he will not comply with a request for information from the House Select Committee that's investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

"I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives," Perry wrote on Twitter. "I decline this entity's request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left."

In response, a committee spokesperson pushed back on Perry's claims while signaling that he could face a subpoena.

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"While [Perry] says that he respects the Constitution and Rule of Law, he fails to note that multiple federal courts, acting pursuant to Article 3 of our Constitution, have already rejected the former President's claims that the committee lacks an appropriate legislative purpose," said the committee. "The Select Committee prefers to gather relevant evidence from members cooperatively, but if members with directly relevant information decline to cooperate and instead endeavor to cover up, the Select Committee will consider seeking such information using other tools."

Perry, an ally of former President Donald Trump, was recently elected chairman of the hardline House Freedom Caucus and will assume that role next year.

The House committee announced on Monday that it is seeking information from Perry over his efforts in 2020 to install former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.

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"We have received evidence from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General," committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson wrote in a statement. "Acting Attorney General Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue have provided evidence regarding these issues, and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans."

The committee requested Perry's "voluntary cooperation," asking him to turn over all relevant communications related to January 6, including any communications with Trump's legal team, the former president himself, and others who might've been involved in planning events on that day.

Lawmakers had also proposed four dates between December 28 and January 4 to meet Perry.

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The committee has also subpoenaed Clark for information related to the January 6 riot, but he pleaded the Fifth to avoid testifying. Clark also elevated baseless claims about 2020 election fraud.

Other Trump figures that have refused to cooperate with the committee include Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative, and John Eastman, the legal scholar who wrote a memo arguing that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to overturn the election results.

The Democratic-led House last week voted to hold Trump's former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress over his refusal to comply with a subpoena. Only two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who both serve on the committee, supported the measure.

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Meadows was the second person to be held in contempt of Congress related to the January 6 investigation. In October, nine Republicans broke ranks and voted to hold Steve Bannon, Trump's one-time White House strategist, in contempt for defying a subpoena. Bannon ultimately surrendered to the FBI on November 15 before pleading not guilty two days later.

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