It's time for Scott Perry to go

York Dispatch Editorial Board

If Scott Perry truly believes the false claims he spouted about election fraud following last November's presidential election, he has fallen into a conspiracy theory rabbit hole and needs to resign from Congress.

If Perry doesn't believe those claims he repeated for months, he's deliberately lying to his constituents to garner favor with a man who lost a free and fair election, and he needs to resign from Congress.

Either way, it's time for him to go.

It's been nine months since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the election of President Joe Biden. 

More:'Subverting Justice': Senate report shines light on Scott Perry's role in Trump's failed power grab

Both before the insurrection and since then, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, has behaved in a manner that makes him unfit to represent his constituents in the 10th District.

Perry's contacts with then-President Donald Trump and other officials merited a whole chapter — a whole chapter! — in a report from the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing Trump's attempts to remain in power that was released last week.

Perry repeated several false claims about the authenticity of Pennsylvania's ballots in an email to Richard Donoghue, the former deputy to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who was tasked with collecting election information form elected officials. Three of his claims were debunked in the text of the report: An initial report that Pennsylvania had certified 205,000 more votes than the number of registered voters did not include voter registrations in four counties; only three attempts to cast more than one vote were discovered in the state; and the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf did encourage voters to use the new choice of voting by mail, but the purpose was to allow a free and fair election in the midst of a global pandemic.

But Perry didn't stop there. He recommended to Donaghue that Jeffrey Clark, former acting assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice's civil division, be given more responsibility in the department's handling of the 2020 election. Perry then introduced Clark to Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office — a meeting Rosen didn't know about.

Clark soon became a central figure in the fight to discredit and overturn the election, proposing that the  Justice Department send letters to the leadership of Georgia and other contested states, encouraging them to appoint a different set of electors. At one point, Trump openly considered asking Rosen to step aside and replacing him with Clark.

In this image from video, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via AP)

Perry went on to introduce a motion on the floor of the House in the early morning hours on Jan. 7, just hours after the mob broke into the Capitol, to disenfranchise the entire state by not counting Pennsylvania's votes in the Electoral College. Calls for him to resign in the days after that were met with a single-word statement from his office: "No."

The months that have passed since these events have not changed any of the facts. Trump lost the election, both the popular vote and the Electoral College. No "forensic audits" or bombastic speeches or baseless rumors of fraud will change that. 

Scott Perry's role in keeping alive the baseless claims that Trump somehow won an election he so fairly and honestly lost is becoming clearer all the time. He's one of only a handful of members of Congress named in the Senate report and the only one whose actions warrant being singled out for further investigation into his actions to pressure the Department of Justice to overturn the results of the election, along with state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Adams.

The deceit, the refusal to acknowledge verifiable truths, the deliberate attempt to overturn the results of an election and the threat of further investigation by Congress only serve to bring more embarrassment to the people of the 10th District. It's time for Perry to go.