Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves on the Jan. 6 Select Committee, on Sunday said the panel plans to show evidence that GOP members of Congress sought pardons from former President Trump in light of their involvement with efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
During the committee’s first public hearing last week, vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and “multiple other Republican congressmen” sought presidential pardons for their roles in Trump’s election steal scheme. Cheney also suggested that the panel’s third public hearing scheduled for Wednesday will feature information about efforts by GOP lawmakers, including Perry, to secure a pardon for themselves after Jan. 6. Perry’s spokesperson Jay Ostrich denied Cheney’s allegation, telling reporters that the claim is a “laughable, ludicrous and a thoroughly soulless lie.”
Congressional investigators believe Perry was involved in a scheme to install Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general in an effort to weaponize the DOJ as a means to overturn Trump’s 2020 loss. Alongside four other Republican lawmakers, Perry was subpoenaed by the committee for testimony. They have all refused to comply.
Asked about Cheney’s remarks during an appearance on ABC News, Schiff said the panel is set to show evidence supporting that finding in their investigation.
“We will show the evidence that we have that members of Congress were seeking pardons,” Schiff said. “To me, I think that is some of the most compelling evidence of a consciousness of guilt.”
“Why would members do that if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate?” Schiff continued. “So we’ll present the evidence that we have, as the vice chair outlined, along with the evidence of other actions that were taken by members of the Congress.”
Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) also confirmed to CNN that the panel has evidence showing multiple Republican lawmakers seeking pardons from the then-President in the aftermath of the deadly Capitol insurrection.
“It is multiple members of Congress, as the vice chair said, at our opening hearing. And, all in due course, the details will surface,” Raskin said.
“Everything we’re doing is documented by evidence,” Raskin added.
Member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) similarly told CBS that the committee has evidence that backs up Cheney’s claim. Kinzinger declined to detail how many Republicans sought pardons, but stressed that more information would be released during public hearings this week.
“Why would you ask for a pardon? Let’s just say in general, if somebody asks for a pardon it would be because they have real concern that maybe they’ve done something illegal,” Kinzinger said.