Houlahan calls for removal of Perry, Jackson from Intel Committee

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U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-6)

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-6), a third-generation veteran and member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee, Tuesday called on Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to rescind his appointments of Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Perry (R-10) has had his phone seized as part of the ongoing investigation into Jan. 6, 2021 and has been implicated in schemes to exclude counting mail-in votes in 2020 and posting an alternate slate of electors from Pennsylvania. Jackson, a former White House physician, was demoted from Navy Admiral to Captain, following allegations of excessive alcohol use and abusive behavior on the job.

The letter reads in part:I write to implore you to reconsider and reverse your recent decision to place Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is just that — a select committee of members of Congress, hand-chosen by leadership for their ability to soberly and dispassionately provide oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community and make decisions about the expansion or winding down of programs. With integrity, professionalism, and expertise, this committee is responsible for holding some of the most powerful elements of the federal government accountable to the will of the American people and to the rule of law.
The Intelligence Committee has responsibility for oversight of intelligence gathered from all branches of our military, federal agencies, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency. By undertaking these responsibilities with thoughtful, steady professionalism, the committee plays a critical role in safeguarding our national security and upholding the Constitutional principles that protect American democracy.
With the committee’s critical charge and unique jurisdiction in mind, the appointment of any member unfit for such sacred duty creates untenable risk to national security and our democratic norms. Rep. Perry and Rep. Jackson are each unqualified to serve this sacred duty, and both have histories that make them more easily compromised by adversaries, if they are not already, creating a potentially grave risk to our national security.”
 
Find the full letter below:
The Honorable Mike Johnson
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Johnson:
I write to implore you to reconsider and reverse your recent decision to place Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is just that — a select committee of members of Congress, hand-chosen by leadership for their ability to soberly and dispassionately provide oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community and make decisions about the expansion or winding down of programs. With integrity, professionalism, and expertise, this committee is responsible for holding some of the most powerful elements of the federal government accountable to the will of the American people and to the rule of law.
The Intelligence Committee has responsibility for oversight of intelligence gathered from all branches of our military, federal agencies, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency. By undertaking these responsibilities with thoughtful, steady professionalism, the committee plays a critical role in safeguarding our national security and upholding the Constitutional principles that protect American democracy.
With the committee’s critical charge and unique jurisdiction in mind, the appointment of any member unfit for such sacred duty creates untenable risk to national security and our democratic norms. Rep. Perry and Rep. Jackson are each unqualified to serve this sacred duty, and both have histories that make them more easily compromised by adversaries, if they are not already, creating a potentially grave risk to our national security.
As you are aware, Rep. Jackson was President Trump’s White House physician. A 2021 Department of Defense Inspector General report found that Rep. Jackson had consumed alcohol inappropriately with subordinates and consumed a sedative drug while on duty providing medical care to the President. He also demeaned and abused staff. This damning evidence led to his demotion from Navy Admiral to Captain. This behavior would disqualify any non-member of Congress from carrying any security clearance, let alone accessing the numerous extraordinarily sensitive compartmented security clearances that will be afforded to Rep. Jackson as part of his responsibilities on the Intel Committee. This recent questionable and poor behavior is also a demonstration of his vulnerability to further and future compromise.
My colleague from Pennsylvania, Rep. Perry, is a larger threat to intelligence oversight. An aide in the Trump administration, Cassidy Hutchinson, has provided testimony that Rep. Perry was a crucial part in the planning of January 6 and that Rep. Perry asked Trump for a pardon before he left office — indicative of someone who at a minimum believes himself to be above the law and above service to country.
In 2022, the FBI confiscated Rep. Perry’s phone when investigating the effort to fraudulently overturn the 2020 Presidential election. A federal judge approved a search warrant to review the phone, finding probable cause that a crime was committed and that evidence of that crime would be found on Rep. Perry’s phone. As it turns out, evidence on the phone linked Rep. Perry to the effort to install Jeffrey Clark as Acting Attorney General in order to abuse the powers of the Department of Justice to undermine the results of the election. Clark has since been indicted in Georgia for violating that State’s racketeering law and making false statements during the effort to overturn the 2020 elections, and a disciplinary panel of the bar in Washington, D.C. recommended that Clark be sanctioned or disbarred for his unethical conduct.
Rep. Perry’s intimate involvement in this scheme with Clark — who happens to be unindicted co-conspirator No. 4 in the ongoing federal election interference case brought by special counsel Jack Smith against former President Trump and his other co-conspirators — calls into question Rep. Perry’s judgment and portends his lasting entanglement in ongoing federal criminal investigations and prosecutions. If your decision to elevate Rep. Perry to this committee stands, he will be on the very committee that oversees the FBI while he is directly under investigation by this very agency. This in and of itself amounts to a disqualifying conflict of interests.
There are literally hundreds of duly elected and upstanding members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who understand the gravity of their responsibilities of oversight, particularly the seriousness of overseeing our nation’s most dear and potentially sensitive intelligence, data and information. These other representatives, many of them Republican, have no record of personal misconduct or entanglement in criminal activity, no active conflict of interests with the agencies under the jurisdiction of the Intelligence committee and are presumably not at risk of compromise by foreign or malign interests. I ask that you withdraw Rep. Perry and Rep. Jackson as nominees and consider replacing them with members whose records are beyond question.
Speaker Johnson, I know you to be a thoughtful and decent leader — a leader who considers himself a protector of this institution and a leader who realizes his actions are larger than party and must reflect on the character of the entire body of the House of Representatives. I urge you to reflect on the integrity of the Congress and of this select committee and withdraw the appointments of individuals unsuited to this service. I appreciate your consideration.
Sincerely,
Chrissy Houlahan
Member of Congress

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One Comment

  1. Beverly V Miller says:

    Thank you for doing this. Neither are qualified for this position and would be a detriment to National Security.

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