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Texts by Mark Meadows reveal new details about key role Scott Perry played in efforts to overturn election

“From a friend of Intel: DNI must instruct the NSA to immediately seize and begin searching for Dominion-related international communications,” Perry wrote to Meadows on Nov. 12, just five days after the election was called for Joe Biden.

In the text, which was not previously reported, Perry appears to be urging Meadows to ask then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to order the National Security Agency to investigate denied claims that the machines to vote in the Dominion would have been hacked by China.

Perry, a five-term congressman, is a retired brigadier general with nearly 40 years of military service, including combat missions in Iraq. Given his extensive background, he likely knows the inner workings of government intelligence.

Perry has so far refused to voluntarily cooperate with the House select committee and, in a previous statement, called the committee illegitimate.

Perry on Tuesday declined to answer several questions from CNN on Capitol Hill about his text messages at Meadows.

It’s unclear if Meadows responded to Perry’s Nov. 12 text. A source familiar with the situation told CNN that Meadows had not approached Ratcliffe about what Perry was asking.

Last year, the Senate singled out Perry for his role in promoting Trump voter fraud plots. The Meadows texts provide new details about his behind-the-scenes efforts. In particular, the texts show how Perry, now head of the House Freedom Caucus, was one of the most vocal advocates of hiring senior government officials to investigate baseless allegations of voter fraud.

Perry wrote to Meadows again on November 12, claiming that “the British” had orchestrated a plot to manipulate voting machines in the United States and that then-CIA Director Gina Haspel was helping to cover it up. .

“And Gina is still running up the hill to cover for the Brits who helped the quarterback through this whole operation,” Perry texted. “DNI must be tasked with auditing its overseas accounts at the CIA – and its National Endowment for Democracy.”

More than a month later, Perry sent Meadows a YouTube link detailing another conspiracy theory: that the votes were altered by Italian satellites.

“Why can’t we just work with the Italian government?” Perry wrote. According to text logs, Meadows does not appear to have responded to this message, emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year show he forwarded the same video link to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen hours later .

Rosen later declined to consider the complaint further and said he “would not give Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses’ any special treatment,” says an email chat between the prosecutor Acting General and emails from senior DOJ officials.

“Sheer madness,” another former DOJ official, Richard Donoghue, replied to Rosen of the claim.

New court case

A new court filing also reveals how Perry played a key role in strategizing with Trump allies to reject electoral votes in states that Trump lost.
In testimony released Friday, Trump’s former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson spoke to House investigators about Perry’s role in White House strategy sessions.

“Mr. Perry is the one that comes to mind immediately as I remember him being physically there and I was pushing him away,” Hutchinson said, describing how the Pennsylvania Republican clashed with the attorney. from Trump to the White House over whether the plan for states to submit another voter list was legally valid.

On Nov. 21, Meadows also stopped by Perry to make contact with local lawmakers in his state.

“Can you send me the number for the President and the Leader of the PA Legislature. POTUS wants to chat with them,” Meadows wrote to Perry.

More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows emphasizing an urgent need as Jan. 6 and Biden’s inauguration rapidly approached.

“Mark, I just checked that the clock is still ticking. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days until the inauguration. We have to go!” he wrote to Meadows on December 26.

On five occasions, according to text messages reviewed by CNN, Perry texted Meadows to request that the conversation move to the “Signal” encrypted messaging app or to alert Meadows to a message he sent on the platform. -encrypted form.

Such a move could put the exchange beyond the reach of the committee because Signal does not collect or store user data, making it more difficult to provide that information to outside entities, including law enforcement and law enforcement agencies. congressional investigators, even under subpoena.

The committee previously released a Jan. 5 text message that Meadows received from an unidentified member of Congress saying, “Please check your signal.”

CNN has now confirmed that the message came from Perry.

Recruit officials from the Ministry of Justice

The texts also show that Perry acted as an intermediary between Meadows and Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark, a relatively obscure official who became a central figure in Trump’s election scheme after the former president nearly scolded him. appointed acting attorney general days before the US Capitol riot. .
The messages draw a direct link between Perry, Clark and the Trump White House-led effort to enlist the Justice Department to help overturn the election.

Beginning in late December, after senior Justice Department officials refused to intervene in the election process on Trump’s behalf, Perry repeatedly pushed Meadows to install Clark in a leadership position in the department and to give him “the authority to enforce what must be done”. show the texts.

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“Mark, you should call Jeff. I just hung up on him and he explained to me why the senior deputy wouldn’t work, especially with the FBI. They will consider him to have no authority to enforce what needs to be done,” Perry sent to Meadows on Dec. 26, days before the heated Oval Office meeting where Trump broached the idea of ​​replacing the then-serving attorney general with Clark.

“I get it. I think I get it. Let me work on the assistant position,” Meadows replied.

Almost a week later, Perry texted Meadows again about Clark.

“Please call me as soon as you hang up with Jeff,” Perry wrote to Meadows on Jan. 2, referring to Clark.

In January 2021, Perry admitted to being the connection between Trump and Clark.

“Over the past four years, I have worked with Assistant Attorney General Clark on various legislative issues. When President Trump asked me if I wanted to do an introduction, I agreed,” Perry said in a statement. at a local Pennsylvania outlet in January 2021.

Perry’s role in the pressure campaign against Justice Department officials in December 2020 was detailed in a Senate judicial report released last year. But the report also acknowledged that its findings were incomplete, listing Perry as one of three Trump allies whose ties to Jan. 6 required further investigation by the House selection panel. The committee asked Perry to speak to them voluntarily, but Perry has so far refused.

“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 properly constituted under the rules of the United States House of Representatives,” Perry said. wrote in a statement on Twitter denying the panel’s request in December.

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic member of the committee investigating the insurgency, told CNN they haven’t ruled out issuing subpoenas to lawmakers, including Perry. Lofgren noted that because Perry has sworn to uphold the Constitution as a congressman, he is “legally obligated” to speak to the committee.

“We could do a variety of things to try to coerce, but the main thing is that he should come in and not try to hide the truth,” Lofgren said. “We have to get to the bottom of it to protect our Constitution and our system of government.”

This story was updated with additional details on Tuesday.


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Sara Adm

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