The very first paragraph of this Fox News story about Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry laid out the entire story:
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., is the latest to say he will not comply with the House Jan. 6 Committee’s request to appear before the committee and provide records for its investigation, leaving the committee with a choice: move on or issue a subpoena to a sitting member of Congress.
The story went on to add:
The committee has yet to issue a subpoena to any current member of Congress, but it has aggressively pursued testimony and records from former Trump administration officials, including Steve Bannon and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Both Bannon and Meadows refused to comply, although Meadows had initially been cooperative.
All of this raises the obvious question. If it’s OK to subpoena Perry as a sitting Member — when will the January 6th Committee subpoena Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Committee member Jamie Raskin, the Maryland Democrat?
Both Pelosi and Raskin, Pelosi as Speaker and, in Raskin’s case as the senior Democrat on the House Administration Committee behind its Democrat chair, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, have responsibility for the safety of the Capitol complex. The Administration Committee specifically says this of its responsibilities:
Another major preoccupation since the 2001 terrorist attacks and Capitol Hill anthrax attacks has been improving security on the House side of the complex while maintaining a high level of accessibility for citizens. In its role as overseer of House security, the committee has worked closely with the Capitol Police. One of the committee’s first challenges was to coordinate resources to secure the campus, facilitate evacuations when necessary, and suggest alternate locations for Congress to meet. Along with providing updated communications equipment to Members and staff, the committee also provided congressional offices with a campus-wide network for the announcement of emergency broadcasts.[Emphasis added.]
Clearly Pelosi as Speaker and Raskin as the Administration Committee’s senior member failed utterly to do their job in protecting the Capitol.
Particularly if Perry, a sitting member of the House, is subpoenaed, the push by Republicans should be to have the Committee immediately issue a subpoena to Pelosi and Raskin. They were in charge of “security on the House side of the complex” — not Scott Perry.
The obvious question for Pelosi and Raskin is, in the style of the Watergate Committee’s Senator Howard Baker famous ask, what did Pelosi and Raskin know and when did they know it? Next would be, what did they do about what they knew? And when?
As written in this space previously of “Republican” Committee member and Trump hater Liz Cheney?
When will she demand that subpoenas be issued to Speaker Pelosi, her fellow members of the January 6th Committee, and their staffs? An honest investigation would want to know what Pelosi knew ahead of January 6 — and when did she know it? And what did she do about it?
Now, with word circulating that there indeed may be a subpoena for Perry as a sitting Member of Congress, the demand from Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for subpoenas for Pelosi, Raskin, and their staffs should be instantly forthcoming.
And if the Committee refuses to issue subpoenas for Pelosi and Raskin? Note this in the Fox News story:
The House recommended that the Justice Department bring criminal contempt charges against both men. So far, the DOJ has indicted Bannon but has not taken action against Meadows, who has cited executive privilege for not turning over all of the information the committee requested.
The real message behind the news that the House is considering a subpoena for Scott Perry — and the silence about doing the same with Pelosi and Raskin — is that the January 6th Committee is not merely a sham, it is a clear and present danger to the honest conduct of the House of Representatives.
You might even call it something else: an insurrection.