Jan. 6 panel to interview Pa. governor nominee Mastriano
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Republican governor nominee Doug Mastriano is appearing Tuesday before the Jan. 6 committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection as the panel probes Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Mastriano, who was outside the Capitol that day, helped organize efforts in Pennsylvania to submit alternate presidential electors beholden to Trump. He is one of two people expected to provide private interviews Tuesday before the committee, according to a person familiar with the situation who was granted anonymity to discuss it.
Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson issued the subpoena for Mastriano back in February as the panel intensified its probe of the “fake electors” scheme, seeking documentation from him and others potentially involved and in close contact with Trump.
The committee “is seeking information about efforts to send false slates of electors to Washington and change the outcome of the 2020 election,” Thompson wrote. “We’re seeking records and testimony from former campaign officials and other individuals in various states who we believe have relevant information about the planning and implementation of those plans.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also been in talks to testify on Tuesday, CNN and other outlets have reported.
Mastriano, a retired Army officer who beat out several candidates to emerge as the GOP nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, has been willing to talk to the committee, his attorney has said. He also spoke with the FBI last year and said he did not know about a planned insurrection, his lawyer has said.
The committee is working through August, deepening its work after blockbuster public hearings this summer that began to outline its investigation into Trump’s multi-pronged effort to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden and the subsequent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The scheme to compile alternative electors emerged as a last-ditch plan by Trump’s team to stop Biden’s victory when Congress met for the typical routine job of certifying the state election results.
Growing from Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, the fake electors strategy relied on having several battleground states that Biden won submit their tally for the defeated Republican president, rather than the Democratic winner, Biden.
Federal authorities earlier this summer issued subpoenas in several key battleground states across the nation to individuals in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and other Republican officials potentially involved in the strategy to submit electors for Trump.
Prosecutors in Georgia are similarly probing Trump’s attempt to subvert the election results in that state.
The Justice Department has charged more than 800 people in the deadly Capitol riot and is investigating Trump’s actions in the run up and aftermath of the insurrection.
The Jan. 6 attack left at least nine people killed in the riot and its aftermath, including a Trump supporter shot by police and a police officer who died later.