Pennsylvania GOP candidate used campaign funds for committee counsel Jan. 6

The Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate used campaign contributions to pay for a lawyer to represent him on a House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, records show.

Doug Mastriano, a far-right state senator who is a key figure in the conspiracy movement against the 2020 election, paid Parlatore $10,000 for “legal advice” on March 3, according to recent campaign finance documents reviewed by HuffPost. The Parlatore address given matches that of the law firm founded by Timothy Parlatore, who represented Mastriano in his dealings with the committee on 6 January.

Committee subpoenaed Mastriano in February looking for documents related to his attempt to send fake voters to Washington to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Mastriano’s use of campaign funds to pay Parlatore probably does not violate state or federal campaign finance laws, but still raises ethical questions. Mastriano previously used funds from his State Senate campaign to charter buses to Washington for his supporters to attend the January 6, 2021 rally that turned into an uprising.

“Any government official using campaign funds to support a coup is doing something unethical, even if it doesn’t necessarily break the letter of the law,” Brendan Fisher, deputy executive director of Documented, a money-in-politics watchdog group, told HuffPost.

Parlatore told HuffPost via email that the payment was legal and ethical.

As Mastriano’s lawyer, he tried to discredit the House Committee’s investigation into the historic uprising, which left several people died and caused more $30 million in damage.

“This is just a partisan election gimmick,” Parlatore said. told The Philadelphia Inquirer committee after handing over some documents related to the subpoena earlier this month. “In fact, they are not interested in getting any information from Mastriano. This is the fishing expedition they hoped he would turn down so they could hint that he had something to hide.”

However, Parlatore told HuffPost that Mastriano “fulfilled” the committee’s agenda.

It remains to be seen what further action the Jan. 6 House Committee may take on Mastriano.

Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano won the primary and became the Republican nominee for U.S. Senator.

Caroline Custer/Associated Press

Mastriano was a major supporter of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse the 2020 election results. Trump awarded him an endorsement in the Pennsylvania GOP primary last month, which helped him crush his opponents.

“There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more or fought for election integrity more than State Senator Doug Mastriano,” Trump said in a statement announcing the approval. “He exposed the fraud, corruption and outright theft in the 2020 presidential election and will do something about it.”

After President Joe Biden won a key battlefield in Pennsylvania in November 2020 with over 80,000 votes, Mastriano, citing false allegations of electoral fraud, attempted to push the Republican-controlled state legislature to reverse the results by replacing his voters with supporters. Trump. then Trump would have been declared the winner.

Also in November 2020, Mastriano staged a State Senate hearing in Gettysburg — part of his district — to file false allegations of electoral fraud. Trump called in for the hearing, and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s disgraced personal lawyer, was in person. On the same day, Mastriano traveled to the White House to attend a meeting with Trump about the election, but was forced to leave after testing positive for COVID.

According to documents handed over in response to the committee’s subpoena dated January 6, Mastriano spent $3,354 to rent buses to send 130 supporters to a “stop theft” demonstration that escalated into an attack on the Capitol. Mastriano attended the event himself, but said he and his wife kept their distance from rioters attacking police barricades. However, a few months later, video footage discovered by Internet sleuths revealed a lot to Mastriano. nearer to scandal than he previously claimed.

And just last week It is reported by NBC News. that a recently surfaced image showed “Mastriano holding his cell phone as rioters in front of the crowd clash with police on the steps of the Capitol.” The reconstructed time frame showed that the photo of Mastriano holding his phone was taken around the same time that the rioters broke through the police line and rushed to the Capitol, according to NBC.

“Every day more information emerges about Doug Mastriano’s involvement in the bloody January 6 uprising, including new footage of Mastriano recording rioters as they attack law enforcement,” Democratic Governors Association spokesman Sam Newton said in a statement in a statement. Thursday. .

“Mastriano’s footage could be important evidence in the January 6 investigation, and is further evidence that Mastriano lied about his involvement and supported the rioters when they attacked the Capitol,” Newton added. “It is high time for Mastriano to publish the tape and finally admit his full involvement in the attack on our democracy.”

Mastriano'S Supporters Sang At His First Evening Campaign Rally In May.
Mastriano’s supporters sang at his first evening campaign rally in May.

Caroline Custer/Associated Press

Parlatore wrote in his email that Newton’s statement was “incoherent”.

“I would suggest that Mr. Shapiro and the DGA focus on issues affecting the citizens of Pennsylvania rather than yelling debunked accusations of Senator Mastriano’s involvement in the Jan. 6 riots,” Parlatore wrote, referring to Mastriano’s Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro. , which is currently Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

If Mastriano wins in November, he will have worrisome power over the state’s 2024 electoral process – and his coveted 20 electoral votes.

During the election campaign, Mastriano showed himself to be a key figure in the insurgent, anti-democratic Christian nationalist movementwhich sees America as a nation created exclusively for Christians, and portrays its opponents as tools of satanic forces.

USA Today/Suffolk University interview released this month showed Mastriano trailing Shapiro by just 4 percentage points, a difference within the poll’s margin of error.

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