Mastriano brings election denier onto Pa. governor campaign


Mastriano brings election denier onto Pa. governor campaign

Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial candidate from Pennsylvania who pushed Donald Trump’s campaign lies, said on Monday he had appointed Trump’s former campaign lawyer as his own campaign’s lead legal counsel.

Lawyer, Jenna Ellis, backed Mastriano in the state’s disputed Republican primary, campaigned with Mastriano, and hosted Mastriano on her podcast, where he once discussed how to undo Trump’s defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Ellis, who has also promoted Trump’s campaign lies, was with Mastriano the night he won his gubernatorial primary and, speaking on his podcast last month, said, “I like to say that Doug Mastriano is the Donald Trump of Pennsylvania.”

The decision to bring in Ellis indicates that Mastriano, who Trump has endorsed, has little interest in moderating his gubernatorial campaign ahead of the Pennsylvania general election.

If Mastriano were to win in the fall, he would shape the conduct of elections in the pivotal battleground state — where the governor appoints the secretary of state, who oversees the conduct of elections. Mastriano has pledged to take the extraordinary step of requiring people to “re-register” to vote — a move that categorically violates federal law, constitutional law scholars say — and decertify some voting machines.

After the 2020 election, Mastriano, a state senator, led a state Senate hearing in Gettysburg in which witnesses — including Ellis and fellow Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani — broadcast false allegations of mass voter fraud. Trump also called the hearing.

In a statement Monday, Mastriano said Ellis’ “talent, experience and legal expertise” will help him defeat Democrat Josh Shapiro, the state’s two-term attorney general, in the US general election. November 8.

On Ellis’ podcast, Mastriano spoke about finding evidence of voter fraud, how to reverse Trump’s election defeat, and connect with a group that includes Ellis after the 2020 election.

“We talked frequently or texted,” Mastriano said. “I was asking you for constitutional advice and recommendations, and again, all Jen and I or anyone else talked about was a legal and constitutional approach.”

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Last year, Mastriano claimed on a radio show that Trump had “asked” me to run for governor.

In addition to promoting Trump’s lies about non-existent and widespread voter fraud that cost him the 2020 election, Mastriano was outside the US Capitol when a crowd of Trump supporters swarmed him during the uprising. Killer of 2021.

He then tried to bring an Arizona-style partisan election audit to Pennsylvania before being stripped of his committee chairmanship over it in a dispute with GOP leaders in the Senate.

Federal and state election officials and Trump’s attorney general said there was no credible evidence the election was tainted. The former president’s allegations of fraud have also been flatly dismissed by the courts, including by the judges he appointed.

In February, Mastriano was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol for his efforts to overturn Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania by letting lawmakers — instead of voters — assign the Pennsylvania presidential voters in favour of Trump.

An attorney for Mastriano said FBI agents interviewed Mastriano. Mastriano told the FBI he knew nothing of a planned insurgency or any coordination behind January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, the attorney said.

Mastriano brings election denier onto Pa. governor campaign



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