The Lead

U.S. House committee subpoenas Sen. Doug Mastriano as part of Jan. 6 investigation

By: - February 15, 2022 5:13 pm

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin (R) and former state Rep. Rick Saccone at the U.S. Capitol on 1/6/21 (Facebook photo)

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 election issued subpoenas for six more people Tuesday, including state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin.

Mastriano, an ally of former President Donald Trump and Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate, attended the “Save America” rally, the morning precursor to the deadly riot. He has denied engaging in violence, but the state senator appears to have been much closer to the Capitol than he initially claimed, according to video footage.

In a statement, the U.S. House committee said Mastriano — who did not respond to a call seeking comment — was “part of a plan to arrange for an alternate slate of electors” and reportedly spoke with Trump about “post-election activities.” The panel cited a Nov. 28, 2020, tweet from Mastriano, who said he was advocating for the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Legislature to appoint Electoral College delegates.

Leading up to the 2020 election and in the year since now-President Joe Biden took office, Mastriano has amplified baseless claims of voter fraud. He passed off the wrong information about mail-in ballot totals and hosted a November 2020 hearing in Gettysburg where Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and other supporters parroted unsubstantiated claims of fraud before a panel of Republican lawmakers.

In June, he launched a so-called “forensic investigation” of the 2020 election and made a sweeping request for election equipment and voter information in Philadelphia, York, and Tioga counties.

Mastriano toured the GOP-backed election review in Arizona last summer. He was joined by House Judiciary Committee Chair Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin, and Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Chair Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, who is now leading the taxpayer-funded election investigation.

Since Mastriano, still a member of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, was stripped of his committee chair assignment, he has stayed quiet about the review and its progress. 

He has also refused to speak to his involvement with an election review in Fulton County, carried out by a private firm with ties to Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer who helped file lawsuits to challenge the 2020 election.

Records obtained by the Capital-Star and government watchdogs through Right-to-Know Law requests confirm that Mastriano and Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair, who also serves on the Senate panel leading the investigation, helped facilitate an off-the-books, third-party review in the rural Pennsylvania county after the 2020 election.

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Marley Parish
Marley Parish

A Pennsylvania native, Marley Parish covers the Senate for the Capital-Star. She previously reported on government, education and community issues for the Centre Daily Times and has a background in writing, editing and design. A graduate of Allegheny College, Marley served as editor of the campus newspaper, where she also covered everything from student government to college sports.

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