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Rep. Scott Perry declines to give info to committee probing Capitol attack

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and other House Freedom Caucus members hold a news conference on July 29. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/2ec2fe4679eaec87719234ad4bca7d70/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and other House Freedom Caucus members hold a news conference on July 29. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Scott Perry said Tuesday he would not turn over his communications with former President Donald Trump to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In its first attempt to seek information from a sitting member of Congress, the bipartisan committee asked Perry, R-Pa., for "voluntary cooperation" to turn over all communications with Trump, the former president's legal team and anything else related to the attack.

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Perry declined the request in a tweet.

"I decline this entity's request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left who desperately seek distraction from their abject failures of crushing inflation, a humiliating surrender in Afghanistan, and the horrendous crisis they created at our border," he wrote.

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The House committee request stops short of a formal subpoena for Perry, the incoming chairman of the far-right Freedom Caucus, seeking information about Trump's efforts to block certification of electoral votes in the 2020 election.

Perry has emerged as a pivotal Trump ally in Trump's push to use the Justice Department to press the false narrative that the election was stolen.

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Perry's role was brought to light by a Senate Judiciary Committee probe into Trump's plans to oust acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. That plan was thwarted by several top Department of Justice officials threatening to resign during a White House meeting Jan. 3.

RELATED Appeals court rules against Trump's efforts to block release of Jan. 6 documents

Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the panel must fully investigate every aspect of the riot.

"The select committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its members," Thompson said in his letter to Perry. "At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully all of these facts and circumstances."

It was Perry who introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, acting head of the civil division at the Justice Department. Clark was a strong supporter of Trump's "stop the steal" movement.

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The committee told Perry that multiple witnesses said Perry played an important role in trying to install Clark as acting attorney general.

The panel voted Dec. 1 to recommend that Congress hold Clark in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with its subpoena.

Donald Trump supporters breach Capitol, riot over election results

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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