Exclusive to CNN: Meadows transcripts reveal new details about the key role the little-known Republican congressman played in efforts to overturn the election 2022-04-26 15:44:00


“From a friend of Intel: DNI needs to instruct the NSA to immediately take over and begin searching for international connections related to Dominion,” Perry wrote to Meadows on November 12, just five days after Joe Biden called for the election.

In the text, which has not been previously reported, Perry appears to be urging Meadows to persuade John Ratcliffe, then director of national intelligence, to order the National Security Agency to investigate debunked allegations that the Dominion voting machines were hacked by China.

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

Perry has so far refused to cooperate voluntarily with the House Select Committee, and in an earlier statement called the committee illegitimate. Perry did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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

last year , The Senate singled out Perry for his role in Promoting Trump election fraud conspiracies. The promoter’s texts provide new details of his behind-the-scenes efforts. In particular, the transcripts show how Perry, who is now chair of the House of Representatives Freedom Caucus, has been one of the most vocal advocates of enlisting senior government officials to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

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

“And Jenna is still roving on the hilltop cover of the British who helped the quarterback in this whole operation,” Berry wrote in a text message. “DNI needs to be tasked with their external audit of the CIA – and their National Endowment for Democracy.”

More than a month later, Berry Send Meadows a YouTube link in a text message He elaborates on another conspiracy theory: that Italian satellites have altered sounds.

“Why can’t we only work with the Italian government?” Berry Books. According to text records, Meadows does not appear to have responded to this message, emails from the Senate Judiciary Committee last year showed that he sent the same video link to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen hours later.

Rosen then declined to consider the allegation further and said he “would not treat Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses’,” an email discussion between the acting attorney general and senior Justice Department officials via email shows.

Another former Justice Department official, Richard Donoghue, responded to Rosen about the claim with “pure insanity.”

New court filing

New court filing also reveals how Perry She played a key role in setting strategies With Trump allies over the electoral vote exclusion in states that Trump lost.
in the testimony Released on FridayCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump in the White House, told House investigators about Perry’s role in White House strategy sessions.

Hutchinson said, describing how the Pennsylvania Republican clashed with a Trump adviser in the White House over whether the states’ plan to introduce an alternative slate of electors was legally sound.

On November 21, Meadows also went through Perry in order to reach out to local legislators in his state.

Meadows wrote to Perry: “Can you send the number of the speaker and the leader of the PA legislature. POTUS wants to talk to them.”

More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows stressing the need for urgency as January 6 approached and Biden’s inauguration quickly.

“Mark, just checking in while the countdown continues. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We have to get started!” He wrote to Meadows on December 26.

Representative Scott Perry speaks as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, March 10, 2021.

On five occasions, according to text messages reviewed by CNN, Perry sent a text message to Meadows to request that the conversation be moved to the encrypted messaging app Signal or to alert Meadows of a message he sent on the encrypted platform.

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

The committee has It was previously released A January 5 text message Meadows received from an anonymous Congressman said, “Please check your signal.”

CNN has now confirmed that the message came from Perry.

Hiring officials from the Ministry of Justice

The transcripts also show that Perry acted as a conduit between Meadows and Department of Justice attorney Jeffrey Clark, a relatively obscure official. She appeared as a central character In Trump’s election maneuver after the former president nearly called him an acting attorney general days before the Capitol riots.
The messages link Perry, Clark, and Trump to the leadership of the White House Effort to Recruit the Ministry of Justice To help overturn the election.

Beginning in late December, after senior Justice Department officials refused to interfere in the election process on Trump’s behalf, Perry Meadows repeatedly pushed to install Clark in a senior position in the department and give him “the authority to do what needs to be done.” Texts appear.

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“Mark, you should call Jeff. I just got off the phone with him and he explained to me why the lead deputy is not particularly working with the FBI. They will view him as not having the authority to enforce what should have been done,” Perry texted Meadows. On December 26, days before Hot meeting in the Oval Office Trump raised the idea of ​​replacing Clark with the then acting attorney general.

Meadows replied, “I see. I think I understand. Let me serve as deputy.”

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

Perry wrote to Meadows on January 2, referring to Clark: “Please call me the moment you get off the phone with Jeff.”

In January 2021, Perry acknowledged being the liaison between Trump and Clark.

“For the past four years, I have worked with Assistant Attorney General Clark on various legislative matters. When President Trump asked if I would make an introduction, I obligated,” Perry said in a statement. statment To a local outlet in Pennsylvania in January 2021.

Perry’s role in the lobbying campaign against Justice Department officials in December 2020 was detailed in a Senate Judiciary Report released last year. But the report also acknowledged its findings were incomplete, citing Perry as one of three Trump allies whose January 6 connections require further investigation by the House Select Committee. The commission asked Perry to speak with them voluntarily, but Perry has so far refused.

“I stand in great respect for our Constitution, the rule of law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegal, and not duly constituted under the rules of the United States House of Representatives,” Perry books In a statement on Twitter, he rejected the committee’s request in December.

California Representative Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat on the committee investigating the insurgency, told CNN they had not ruled out subpoenas for lawmakers, including Perry. Lofgren noted that because Perry had sworn to uphold the Constitution as a member of Congress, he was “legally obligated” to speak to the committee.

“We can do a variety of things to try to coerce, but the main thing is that he has to come and don’t try to hide the truth,” Lofgren said. “We need to get to the bottom of this to protect our constitution and our system of government.”