On Monday, we saw the FBI raid President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. On Tuesday, we saw them seize the cell phone of a sitting member of Congress. Now, on Wednesday, there are reports that federal investigators have delivered subpoenas or paid visits to several Pennsylvania House and Senate Republican offices in the Capitol over the past two days.
At least some of the individuals receiving subpoenas were told they were not targets of an investigation, according to at least six sources reached by PennLive, but that they may have information of interest to the FBI. All of the sources had been briefed on the investigative moves in some way, but demanded anonymity in order to discuss them.
The information being requested centered around U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and the effort to seek alternate electors as part of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to remain in office after the 2020 election, several sources said.
As I reported, Rep. Perry’s cellphone was seized by the FBI in a surprise move, they demanded it from him while he was with his family.
The reports suggest this has to do with the alternate slate of electors that some Republicans were allegedly discussing could be submitted if Trump were ultimately declared the winner. There have been alternate slates of electors before in the race between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy, where there were two slates of electors out of Hawaii, depending on who was declared the winner. So I’m not sure what the alleged “crime” was that the FBI is supposedly pursuing here. Once again we have concerning action from the FBI.
Spokespeople for Pennsylvania House and Senate Republican leaders did not confirm that any of them received subpoenas. A spokesperson for the Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre County) issued a statement.
Jason Thompson, a spokesman for Corman, issued a statement, saying, “Federal subpoenas typically request confidentiality from the witnesses being subpoenaed in order to avoid impediment to the ongoing investigation, so it would be inappropriate to comment on whether members have received subpoenas or not. If subpoenaed as witnesses, our members will certainly comply with requests for documents or information not covered by an applicable privilege.”
He added: “We have no indication that any of our members are targets of any FBI investigation.”
It’s not clear if this is a factor in the raid against Trump which reports and his attorneys have indicated is related to presidential records and possible classified information.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) called out the action against Perry.
Once you realize this is a hot war between the embedded elements of big government and conservatives who threaten their existence, you can understand the tactical and psychological significance of the FBI notoriously seizing the House Freedom Caucus chairman’s cell phone.
Just like with the raid on Trump, as Massie noted, they could glean all kinds of political information from Perry’s phone since he is the head of the House Freedom Caucus.
Perry also filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland last year, so that also raises the question of whether this is retaliatory action as well.
This reported action to drop subpoenas on Republicans seems like more political action in this “war” being leveled against Republicans, especially if it’s about alternate electors. But they seem bent on trying to find something on people in regard to Jan. 6, even if there is nothing to find. This kind of action just adds to the overall sense of now being in a banana republic where it’s all about politics and suppressing political opponents. This puts the very nature of our Republic in jeopardy.