Long before embracing Trump’s false election claims, Rep. Scott Perry promoted groundless theories

12/23/21
 
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from The Washington Post,
12/20/21:

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) has been fanning false claims for years, long before his efforts to overturn the 2020 election based on former president Donald Trump’s baseless allegations drew the attention of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

In the fall of 2017, Perry claimed a former House aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) orchestrated “massive” data transfers that amounted to a “substantial security threat,” according to Fox News. The Pakistani American staffer, Imran Awan, was later cleared of stealing government secrets by federal prosecutors.

Around the same time, Perry suggested then-CNN host Chris Cuomo was exaggerating the lack of water and electricity in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico. “You’re simply just making this stuff up,” Perry said. Hurricane Maria was later tied to nearly 3,000 deaths.

On Tuesday, Perry rebuffed the committee’s request for communications and voluntary testimony, the first significant action the panel has taken to obtain information from a sitting member of Congress.

“I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives,” Perry said in a statement. “I decline this entity’s request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left.”

The Senate report found that Perry, along with Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), pressured top law enforcement officials to investigate the state’s 2020 election results. According to the report, Perry and Mastriano contacted Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, the Justice Department’s second-ranking official, to urge him to investigate Trump’s spurious claims of widespread voter fraud.

Donoghue told Senate investigators that during one conversation with Perry, the congressman complained “generally about the FBI” and the Awan investigation.

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