WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection requested an interview with Republican Rep. Scott Perry (10th District) of Pennsylvania on Monday, marking the first time the committee publicly sought to interview a sitting member of Congress.

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The latest request launches a new phase for the lawmakers on the committee, who have so far resisted going after one of their own as they investigate the insurrection by President Donald Trump’s supporters and his efforts to overturn the election. Perry and other congressional Republicans met with Trump ahead of the attack and strategized about how they could block the results at the Jan. 6 electoral count.

In a letter to Perry, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the panel, said the panel had received evidence from multiple witnesses that Perry had “an important role” in efforts to install Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.

“Acting Attorney General Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue have provided evidence regarding these issues, and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans,” Thompson said.

The letter requests an interview with Perry, who pushed the Justice Department to overturn the election and met with Trump ahead of the violent attack, according to investigators.

The lawmaker representing Pennsylvania’s 10th District was cited more than 50 times in a Senate Judiciary report released in October outlining how Trump’s effort to overturn his 2020 election defeat brought the Justice Department to the brink of chaos and prompted top officials there and at the White House to threaten to resign.

In response to the panel’s request, Perry released the following statement:

“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 US House of Representatives. 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 and refuse to address at our southern border.”
Perry’s Dec. 21, 2021 Statement