News & Politics

Scott Perry among four officials referred to House Ethics committee for potential criminal prosecution

The central PA congressman was among the chief actors in the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan and Scott Perry

U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan and Scott Perry Chip Somodevilla / Staff/Getty

The select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection held its final public hearing Monday, referring four criminal charges against former President Donald Trump and referring four lawmakers – including U.S. Rep. Scott Perry – to the House Ethics Committee for failing to comply with subpoenas. 

Perry could face sanctions from the House Ethics Committee. House Republicans Kevin McCarthy of California, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Andy Biggs of Arizona are among the others referred to the committee for refusing to comply with the panel’s subpoenas. 

When the committee issued the subpoenas earlier this year, Perry called the process a “political witch hunt” focused on “fabricating headlines and distracting Americans from their abysmal record of running America into the ground.”

In an executive summary, the committee remarked that Perry’s “willful noncompliance” violates House rules that require members of Congress to conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

A member of the House Freedom Caucus, Perry has been one of the main subjects of an investigation into Jan. 6 and efforts by Trump allies to sow doubt in and overturn the 2020 presidential election. In August, the FBI seized Perry’s phone and investigators have reviewed his communications with Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others from the 2020 election through Jan. 6, 2021. 

Last week, Perry’s text messages with Meadows were made public. In the texts, Perry outlined baseless conspiracy theories related to the election results and a plot to investigate it. 

Perry told Meadows to install Jeffrey Clark – an assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice who was sympathetic to Trump’s voter fraud lies – as attorney general and attempted to connect the Trump administration with state lawmakers in Harrisburg. On Monday, Clark was named in two of the select committee’s four criminal referrals, including obstruction of official proceedings and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. 

Jay Ostrich, a spokesperson for Perry, told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday’s actions are “more games from a petulant and soon-to-be defunct kangaroo court desperate for revenge and struggling to get out from under the weight of its own irrelevancy.” The Jan. 6 committee’s referrals do not carry any legal weight nor do they compel the justice department to take any action. DOJ officials will ultimately decide whether to prosecute Trump and others in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.