“From an Intel friend: DNI needs to task NSA to immediately seize and begin looking for international comms related to Dominion,” Perry wrote to Meadows on November 12, just five days after the election was called for Joe Biden.
In the text, which has not been previously reported, Perry appears to be urging Meadows to get John Ratcliffe, then-Director of National Intelligence, to order the National Security Agency to investigate debunked claims that 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 flying combat missions in Iraq. Given his extensive background, he is likely familiar with the inner-workings of government intelligence.
Perry has thus far declined to voluntarily cooperate with the House select committee, and in a previous statement has called the committee illegitimate.
Perry on Tuesday refused to answer several questions from CNN at the Capitol about his texts to Meadows.
It’s unclear whether Meadows responded to Perry’s November 12 text. A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Meadows did not approach Ratcliffe about what Perry was asking.
Perry wrote to Meadows again on November 12 claiming that “the Brits” orchestrated a conspiracy to manipulate voting machines in the US and that then-CIA Director Gina Haspel was helping cover it up.
“And Gina is still running around on the Hill covering for the Brits who helped quarterback this entire operation,” Perry texted. “DNI needs to be tasked to audit their overseas accounts at CIA – and their National Endowment for Democracy. “
“Why can’t we just work with the Italian government?” Perry wrote. According to the text logs, Meadows does not appear to have responded to that message, emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year show he did forward the same video link to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen hours later.
Rosen subsequently refused to look into the claim further and said he would “not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses,’ ” an email discussion between the acting attorney general and top DOJ officials emails show.
“Pure insanity,” another former DOJ official, Richard Donoghue, responded to Rosen about the claim.
New court filing
“Mr. Perry is one that immediately jumps to mind as me recalling him physically being there and then pushing back,” Hutchinson said, describing how the Pennsylvania Republican clashed with Trump’s White House counsel over whether the plan for states to submit alternate slate of electors was legally sound.
On November 21, Meadows also went through Perry in order to get in touch with local lawmakers in his state.
“Can you send me the number for the speaker and the leader of PA Legislature. POTUS wants to chat with them,” Meadows wrote to Perry.
More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows stressing a need for urgency as January 6 and Biden’s inauguration were quickly approaching.
“Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!” he wrote to Meadows on December 26.
On five occasions, according to the text messages reviewed by CNN, Perry texted Meadows to request the conversation move to the encrypted messaging app “Signal” or to alert Meadows to a message he sent on the encrypted platform.
Such a move could put the exchange out of the committee’s reach because Signal does not collect or save user data, making it more difficult to provide that information to outside entities, including law enforcement and congressional investigators, even under subpoena.
CNN has now confirmed that message came from Perry.
Enlisting Justice Department officials
Starting in late December, after top Justice Department officials refused to intervene in the election process on Trump’s behalf, Perry repeatedly pushed Meadows to install Clark in a top position at the department and give him the “authority to enforce what needs to be done,” the texts show.
“I got it. I think I understand. Let me work on the deputy position,” Meadows responded.
Nearly a week later Perry texted Meadows again about Clark.
“Please call me the instant you get off the phone with Jeff,” Perry wrote to Meadows on January 2, referring to Clark.
In January 2021, Perry admitted to being the link between Trump and Clark.
Perry’s role in the pressure campaign against Justice Department officials in December 2020 was detailed in a Senate Judiciary report released last year. But the report also acknowledged that its findings were incomplete, listing Perry as one of three Trump allies whose connections to January 6 required further investigation by the House select panel. The committee has asked Perry to talk with them voluntarily, but Perry has so far refused.
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic member of the committee that’s investigating the insurrection, told CNN they have not ruled out issuing subpoenas to lawmakers, including Perry. Lofgren noted that because Perry swore to uphold the Constitution as a member of Congress, he’s “legally obliged” to talk to the committee.
“We could do a variety of things to try and compel, but the main thing is he should come in and not try and hide the truth,” Lofgren said. “We need to get to the bottom of this to protect our Constitution and system of government.”
This story has been updated with additional details Tuesday.