Tag: scott perry
Scott Perry

Judge Issues 'Scathing' Opinion Authorizing Search Of Scott Perry's Phone

Late Friday, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court in D.C. swatted aside the protestations of Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) who was trying to keep the Justice Department from reviewing over 2,000 documents on his phone related to the January 6 insurrection.

Perry, who continues to support Donald Trump's assertion that the election was stolen and is reportedly under investigation, claimed that the 2,219 documents on his phone were protected by the "speech or debate" clause in the Constitution which shields members of Congress from a criminal investigation into fulfilling their duties.

However, Judge Howell bluntly disagreed on Friday.

"Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court in D.C. released a number of previously sealed opinions after finding that the 'powerful public interest'outweighed the need for secrecy in the constitutional battle over Perry’s claims and the historic investigation," the Washington Post is reporting.

In the ruling, Howell wrote, "What is plain is that the Clause does not shield Rep. Perry’s random musings with private individuals touting an expertise in cybersecurity or political discussions with attorneys from a presidential campaign, or with state legislators concerning hearings before them about possible local election fraud or actions they could take to challenge election results in Pennsylvania."

According to the Post's Spencer Hsu, "Perry is a key figure who sought to help Trump replace the attorney general after the 2020 election with former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and get the Justice Department to reverse its finding that Joe Biden had been elected fairly, according to the House committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol."

The report adds, "The Justice Department has separately prioritized and obtained access to 37 emails between Perry and Trump-connected lawyers John Eastman, who pushed false claims of mass electoral fraud in 2020, Clark and aide Ken Klukowski, as well as 331 documents from Clark about his January 6 role, according to the filings."

You can read more here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Judge Unseals Coup Evidence Implicating Scott Perry And Trump Attorneys

Judge Unseals Coup Evidence Implicating Scott Perry And Trump Attorneys

Federal investigators have examined email exchanges between three Trump-affiliated attorneys and far-right Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), a key figure in Republican efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, a newly released court order showed.

The revelation emerged after Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the district court in Washington, D.C., granted the Justice Department’s request to unseal two previous court rulings — a memorandum and order from June and a memorandum opinion from September — declaring that the requested communications weren’t protected by any claims of privilege.

The tranche included 37 email exchanges between Perry, coup-plotting Trump attorney John Eastman, and former Justice Department officials Jeffrey Clark and Ken Klukowski; an autobiography draft; and other writing in which Perry and the others discussed subverting the 2020 election.

Sections of the unsealed rulings — first reported by Politico — were redacted but nevertheless offer a clearer view into the DOJ’s swiftly expanding investigation into the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack and efforts by Trump and his allies to damage democracy irreversibly by keeping a defeated president in power.

The order disclosed details of the DOJ’s investigative processes from May through September — including investigators’ acquisition of over 130,000 documents through June search warrants — which included seizing Perry’s phone and searching Clark’s home in June.

The records included email conversations between Perry and Eastman about a phone call and communications between Clark and others disseminating news stories, the unsealed rulings showed, according to NBC News.

Last June the House Select Committee, a bipartisan congressional panel that has investigated the January 6 insurrection, aired testimony by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that Perry had pushed for Clark to take over the DOJ to help illegally keep then-lame duck President Trump in power.

"He wanted Mr. Clark — Mr. Jeff Clark — to take over the Department of Justice," Hutchinson had told congressional investigators of Perry in footage aired at a televised hearing.

Howell’s June opinion highlighted several exchanges that the DOJ’s filter team, on the lookout for records protected by privilege, flagged, including an email Klukowski sent Perry on November 11, 2020, with an attachment titled "Electors Clause/The Legislature option," per Politico.

The document, whose author wasn’t identified, argued "in support of the proposition that 'The Constitution makes state legislatures the final authority on presidential elections,’” Howell noted in the opinion.

Klukowski, NBC News reported, sent Perry another email on Christmas eve with a document titled "State Legislatures Can Self-Convene to Appoint Presidential Electors." No author was named for this document either.

Howell agreed with the filter team in her ruling that the documents weren’t covered by privilege in Klukowski’s case because he "was still employed in the federal government and therefore Congressman Perry could not have been his client.”

In her September opinion, Howell ruled that about 331 documents obtained from Clark, including the outline of an autobiography that Clark had penned recounting Trump’s effort to install him as acting attorney general, weren’t protected by attorney-client privilege.

"The outline's conclusion does not contain thoughts or legal strategies related to the congressional committee investigations, but rather a promise to 'resist communism' and work on 'Covid litigation and against wokeism," Howell said.

Although all four men have loomed large in various government investigations into Trump’s failed 2020 coup, none have been charged.

Clark’s attorney issued a statement on Friday blasting Howell’s decision to unseal the order, decrying the release as “incumbent on those at the department who sought this unsealing to explain why doing so is anything other than a calculated move to increase pressure on those being scrutinized as part of the investigation and to prejudice a possible future jury pool.”

'Consciousness Of Guilt' Among Pardon-Seeking House Republicans

'Consciousness Of Guilt' Among Pardon-Seeking House Republicans

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol revealed during its first public hearing on Thursday that multiple Trump-allied Republicans in Congress sought presidential pardons for their efforts to challenge and overturn the results of the 2020 elections.

The full ramifications of that revelation are yet to be felt.

It was Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice-chair of the select committee, who disclosed during her opening statement that “multiple Republican congressmen sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

That so many House Republicans sought pardons could be construed as an admission of guilt, an acknowledgment of their involvement in possibly illegal conduct, and a sign of “potentially perilous legal and political moments to come” for former President Trump and his congressional allies.

"Why would members do that if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate?" Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked on ABC’sThis Week, speaking of the pardon-seeking House Republicans.

The select committee’s shocking revelation also suggested that the House Republicans in question knew — if not before, then now — that Trump’s widespread election fraud claims were lies, or they wouldn’t seek clemency.

In a statement to reporters, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the select committee, echoed Schiff’s sentiment on the bombshell revelation, saying, “It’s hard to find a more explicit statement of consciousness of guilt than looking for a pardon for actions you’ve just taken, assisting in a plan to overthrow the results of a presidential election.”

Cheney gave no basis for the allegation but named one of the Republican congressmen: Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who chairs the far-right House Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus now described as Trump’s defense team.

Perry took to Twitter on Friday to deny the claim, which he labeled, among other things, a “soulless lie.”

The allegations prompted one of the largest papers in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to assail Perry for his questionable morals and ethics.

"Legal experts agree that presidential pardons are intended for persons accused of or convicted of federal crimes. It is extremely rare for anyone to receive a preemptive pardon for an offense already committed but not charged. Rep. Perry had led an effort to turn back the results of the presidential election, but he had not been charged with a crime," the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettewrote. "Was he, by the very act of asking, admitting to criminal or unethical behavior? Why else would he ask? It certainly raises suspicions."

Willful Blindness

The select committee argued Trump couldn’t have believed he won the 2020 elections after his senior advisers informed him of the contrary.

The testimony provided by these top Trump aides and their implicationscan open the door for the Department of Justice to slap Trump with charges of obstructing an official proceeding — in this case, Congress’ certification of the electoral college votes — or “defrauding the United States on the basis of election fraud claims he knew were false.".

In undercutting the notion that Trump truly believed his Big Lie, the panel appears to be making a case of “willful blindness” on the former president’s part, which is especially relevant in his efforts to pressure Georgia’s state secretary Brad Raffensperger to find him enough votes to win.

Select Committee Asks To Question McCarthy -- But He Won't Appear Voluntarily

Select Committee Asks To Question McCarthy -- But He Won't Appear Voluntarily

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) -The House Select Committee investigating the deadly January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol asked House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday to voluntarily answer questions about Donald Trump's actions on the day of the riot.

In a letter to McCarthy released publicly, the House of Representatives Select Committee requested his testimony on a range of topics, including his conversations with the former president before, during, and after the attack.

"We also must learn about how the President's plans for January 6 came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election," the Select Committee's chairman, Bennie Thompson, said in the letter.

The committee is also investigating whether Trump suggested to McCarthy what he should say publicly and to investigators about their conversations on the day of the attack, according to the letter. McCarthy and Trump met on January 28, 2021, in Palm Beach, Florida.

A spokesman for McCarthy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Later McCarthy's office issued a statement rejecting the committee's request.

"As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward," McCarthy said.

The panel had previously asked another Trump ally in Congress, Representative Jim Jordan, to disclose conversations he had with Trump on January 6, 2021.

Jordan said on Sunday he would not cooperate with the committee's investigating, calling it illegitimate.

Two Republicans, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are members of the committee.

Thompson has said the panel is looking into whether it has the authority to issue subpoenas to congressional Republicans to force their cooperation.

The Select Committee has interviewed more than 340 witnesses and issued dozens of subpoenas as it investigates the deadly storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters as lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden's election victory.

The committee is aiming to release an interim report in the summer and a final report in the fall, a source familiar with the investigation said last month.

The committee's members have said they will consider passing along evidence of criminal conduct by Trump to the Justice Department. Such a move, known as a criminal referral, would be largely symbolic but would increase the political pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to charge the former president.

One police officer who battled rioters died the day after the attack and four who guarded the Capitol later died by suicide. Four rioters also died, including a woman who was shot by a police officer while trying to climb through a shattered window.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler)