396 Messages Protected by Speech and Debate Clause, 1,659 Must be Disclosed
Washington D.C. – In a 12-page decision, Judge Boasberg has ruled that Congressman Perry, a prominent Trump ally, can withhold 396 messages from disclosure based on the constitution’s speech and debate clause. However, the judge has mandated the disclosure of the other 1,659 records which do not involve legislative acts. These include discussions about efforts to influence the executive branch, Vice President Mike Pence’s role in certifying the election, and alleged election fraud information.
Perry’s Lawyer Yet to Respond on Potential Appeal
Perry’s lawyer, John Rowley, has not yet indicated whether they plan to appeal the decision. Previously, Rowley has stated that government officials have never identified Perry as a target of their investigation. Congressman Perry, the chairman of the hardline conservative group, the Freedom Caucus, has not been charged with a crime and is the sole sitting member of Congress whose cellphone was seized by the FBI during the 2020 election investigation.
Revelations Shed Light on Perry’s Connection to Trump Loyalists
The unsealed snippets and summaries of Perry’s texts and emails have inadvertently provided additional insight into his ties to other Trump loyalists. Particularly significant is Perry’s role in the attempt to elevate Jeffrey Clark to Trump’s acting attorney general. Perry maintains that he merely “obliged” Trump’s request to introduce Clark, who was being considered as a successor to use the Department of Justice to delay the certification of Biden’s election victory.
Clark’s Drafted Letter Raises Concerns
Messages exchanged between Perry and Clark suggest a close alliance. Clark, who positioned himself as someone who would challenge the Department of Justice’s findings of no widespread voting fraud, had drafted a letter claiming significant concerns regarding the outcome of the election in multiple states, including Georgia. This letter formed part of an August indictment accusing Trump, Clark, and others of illegally attempting to maintain power.
Justice Department on the Brink of Crisis
The standoff over Clark’s appointment brought the Justice Department to the brink of crisis, with prosecutors warning of mass resignations if Trump proceeded. Ultimately, Trump backed down after realizing the potential consequences. Clark is now listed as one of six unnamed and unindicted co-conspirators in the federal indictment aimed at subverting the 2020 election.