Federal investigators have accessed emails of Rep. Scott Perry and Trump allies in 2020
Federal investigators have obtained access to several email accounts, a draft autobiography and other writings in which Republican Rep. Scott Perry, Donald Trump elections attorney John Eastman, and former Justice Department officials Jeffrey Clark and Ken Klukowski discussed the 2020 election, according to a newly released order in the DC District Court.
The order unsealed Thursday indicates how broad a net federal prosecutors have cast for information from top Trump backers as part of the sprawling criminal investigation into January 6, 2021, and efforts to impede the transfer of presidential power.
Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court allowed federal investigators to access email messages sent to and from Perry, who pushed false election fraud claims after the 2020 election and worked with Eastman, Clark and Klukowski as they tried to overturn Trump’s election loss.
The searches obtained more than 130,000 documents and a book outline Clark was writing about himself and his experience in 2020 and early 2021.
Among the documents were 331 drafts of Clark’s autobiography outline, which he had saved in his Google account, according to a court filing.
The order discloses several rounds of investigative steps by the Justice Department in May, June and again in September.
Court filings also show how carefully investigators treaded around attorney communications that could have been considered confidential – and how they used a filter team to catalogue what they collected in the searches, then ultimately went through the federal court to obtain access to some documents.
Earlier this year, Clark declined to answer questions to several investigative teams, citing his Fifth Amendment rights, and had marked on his autobiography drafts that they were attorney work-product, implying he wanted them to remain confidential.
However, the judge wrote, the Justice Department prosecutors told a judge, “Clark penned the autobiography outline in an atmosphere charged with news that congressional committees’ investigations into the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack and other efforts to overturn the 2020 election were increasingly focusing on his role,” one filing said. Six chapters were about the 2020 election, Howell’s opinion added.
The court order cited a snippet from Clark’s prologue that said after the 2000 election, he “never thought [he’d] have a bird’s eye view of a second deeply contested presidential election” but he’d “be wrong.”
In the Perry email cache, investigators found Eastman, Klukowski and Clark were in communication with the congressman a few dozen times after the election. A handful of email exchanges and attached documents were initially filtered out by the DOJ’s filter team, and Howell then allowed prosecutors to access the 37 records.
Among those records, about a week after the 2020 election, Klukowski acknowledges in an email that he and Perry spoke, then attaches a document about state legislatures being able to determine the presidential election.
Three emails showed Eastman discussing a phone call with Perry in mid-December 2021. “John, this is congressman Scott Perry from PA. Can you contact me ASAP?” one said around December 11.
Other emails from Clark’s account, from after the Trump administration ended in 2021, included him sending Perry his resume, a forwarded excerpt of a Vaclav Havel essay, a discussion of a Roger Stone interview and a comment about Pennsylvania’s voting system.
Eastman, Perry, Clark and Klukowski have been known to be subjects of the DOJ criminal investigation around January 6 since earlier this year, when federal investigators conducted searches of each man’s cell phones. CNN reported earlier this week the DOJ had a dispute with Perry over accessing the data on his phone because of constitutional protections around members of Congress, but it’s unclear if that has been resolved.
None of the four men have been charged criminally.
This story has been updated with additional details.