Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., refused to recuse himself from any House GOP investigation of federal probes into the events surrounding the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, despite being a subject of those investigations.
“Why should I be restricted simply because someone has levelled an accusation? “In America, everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Perry said on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos.
Perry was pressed on whether his participation in a new committee would create a conflict of interest, given that he was one of those being investigated.
“So, should everyone in Congress who disagrees with someone be barred from exercising the oversight and investigative powers that Congress has? “That is our mission,” Perry stated.
“And, once again, that is appropriate for every single member, regardless of the accusations,” he added. “Every day, I am accused of various things, as is every other member who serves in public. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your job. It is our responsibility, and it is mine.”
Republicans intend to investigate the work of the now-defunct House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 riot, according to newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. McCarthy sent a letter to committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., in November requesting that all records and transcripts be preserved, and vowed to hold hearings in the new Congress about the security flaws that led to the attack in 2021. House Republicans also intend to vote this week on a new rules package that includes the establishment of a Judiciary investigative subcommittee charged with investigating what they refer to as “the weaponization of the federal government.”
Perry’s phone was seized as part of the Justice Department’s investigation on January 6. Perry, a supporter of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, sued the Justice Department last year, requesting the return of all cellphone data seized by the FBI. Perry’s attorneys dropped the case in October without explanation.
The Jan. 6 committee also referred Perry and three other House Republicans, including McCarthy, to the House Ethics Committee for defying the panel’s subpoenas. The committee stated that it had evidence “from multiple witnesses” alleging Perry’s involvement in an attempt to instal former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general during the Trump administration’s final months. Clark pushed back against Trump’s false claims of a rigged 2020 presidential election, urging the Justice Department to intervene to challenge the results.