The Lead

Report: Pa. Rep. Scott Perry named on prosecution witness list in Ga. election interference case

By: - December 8, 2023 2:01 pm

Rep. Scott Perry talking to reporters at the Capitol Sept. 19, 2023 (Jennifer Shutt/ States Newsroom)

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-10th District) is among nearly 200 people including former Vice President Mike Pence whose names appear on a list of potential witnesses produced by prosecutors in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump, according to a report.

Citing sources who had reviewed the list and people who confirmed they had been told they may be called to testify, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the document also lists Trump administration officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and former advisor Steve Bannon.

A 98-page indictment obtained by Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis in August charges Trump and 18 others with racketeering in connection with an alleged effort to change election results in Georgia, where Trump narrowly lost to President Joe Biden in 2020. 

Perry, whose district covers part of central Pennsylvania, has not been charged in either of the election interference cases against Trump. A call to Perry’s Washington, D.C., office on Friday was not returned.

The witness list also includes Cassidy Hutchinson, a one-time top aide to Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and several Georgia officials including Gov. Brian Kemp, Attorney General Chris Carr, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, the Journal-Constitution reported.

While not every person on the list is likely to be called to testify, the newspaper said the scope of the list shows the breadth and depth of the evidence prosecutors plan to present in their effort to prove Trump — and his now 15 co-defendants — guilty.

Prosecutors reached plea agreements with four people charged in the indictment including Trump campaign lawyers Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis.

The select House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol invited Perry to testify and later subpoenaed Perry, citing his effort to help Trump install Jeff Clark, a former Justice Department official who was receptive to Trump’s election fraud claims, as acting attorney general.

Perry refused to testify, but the committee found in its final report that Perry had tried to help Trump overturn the results of the election. 

A hearing in June 2022 centered on Perry’s role in efforts to pressure the Justice Department to support unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. The committee noted that Perry had called Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in January 2021 to urge him to speak with Clark and that he brought Clark to the White House to meet Trump in December, after a meeting in which Perry and other Republicans discussed how to overturn the election.

Perry is also fighting to keep Special Counsel Jack Smith, whose investigation led to Trump’s indictment in a Washington, D.C. federal court, from obtaining access to messages on his personal cell phone, which the FBI seized in August 2022.

A document unsealed in the case earlier this month details Perry’s discussions of efforts to challenge the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania and Georgia. It notes that the data extracted from Perry’s phone includes information about a draft letter Clark drafted to be sent to officials in Georgia and other states that the Justice Department was investigating serious allegations of election fraud that might impact the outcome of the election. 

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Peter Hall
Peter Hall

Peter Hall has been a journalist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 20 years, most recently covering criminal justice and legal affairs for The Morning Call in Allentown. His career at local newspapers and legal business publications has taken him from school board meetings to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and many points of interest between. He earned a degree in journalism from Susquehanna University.

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