Republican Rep. Scott Perry from Pennsylvania played a key role to help former President Donald Trump to oust then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen in an attempt to overturn the election results in Georgia, reported The New York Times on Saturday, January 23.
The Republican from York County, Perry, objected to the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania on January 6. According to the report by NYT, he introduced Trump to Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the acting chief of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) civil division. The justice department lawyer was working with the former president to find ways to raise doubts about the 2020 presidential election results, the report said.
The NYT initially reported that Trump sought to replace the acting attorney general with Clark, as Rosen refused to support unproven claims regarding the manipulated election and widespread voter fraud. But according to former Trump administration officials, the replacement plan failed after DOJ top officials came to know about the alleged plot and threatened to resign.
The little-known member of the House, Perry, was one of the several Republicans who was giving Trump false hope that he could still snatch the victory from President Joe Biden. The NYT reported on Saturday that it was not clear how Perry and Clark initially met and how well both knew each other prior to the meeting with the former president. However, Clark and Trump reportedly talked over direct phone calls several times. According to former Trump administration officials, it was only in late December, when Clark informed Rosen about a meeting with Trump brokered by Perry.
The justice department officials were surprised to know about these interactions with Trump as Clark did not alert Rosen earlier. As per the agency's policy, in terms of discussing any DOJ matter, the president should first communicate with the attorney general or the deputy attorney general.
The report also added that Perry and Clark hatched a plan to have the justice department send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers falsely claiming that the department was investigating the state for voter fraud that could overturn Biden's win. Both the men then allegedly discussed the plan with Trump.
The former officials of the Trump administration also told NYT that even though the justice department had carried out dozens of voter fraud investigations, no evidence was found that would have altered the outcome of the election.
Investigating the Plot
On Saturday, Illinois senator Richard Durbin, who is the incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told the DOJ in a letter that he was investigating alleged efforts by the former president and Clark to use the government department to further Trump's plan to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.
The senate majority leader, Charles (Chuck) Schumer also called for the DOJ internal watchdog to investigate the plot. He tweeted on Saturday, "Unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people's will. The Justice Dept Inspector General must launch an investigation into this attempted sedition now."
Meanwhile, calls are mounting for Perry to resign after the NYT report exposed his "significant role" in trying to overturn the election. Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, a Philadelphia Democrat, wrote on Twitter, "Hey @RepScottPerry, resign."
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General, said in a tweet, "Representative Perry ought to familiarize himself with Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of our Constitution. There must be consequences for this conduct."