Doug Mastriano, the Trump-backed Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, will appear virtually Tuesday before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, his attorney confirmed to CBS News on Monday.
Mastriano, a state senator who was seen at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has pushed former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. He had been in regular communication with Trump after the election and helped organize a Nov. 25, 2020, meeting in Gettysburg with Rudy Giuliani and other Trump allies to discuss “election issues.” Trump called into that meeting and falsely claimed the election had been rigged.
Mastriano’s attorney, Timothy Parlatore, said Tuesday’s appearance before the committee will be “short,” as he plans to ask whether the committee has complied with the requirements for a deposition and then intends to walk out.
“When you don’t have a bipartisan committee, that really prevents any real discussion and real protection of those substantive rights,” Parlatore told CBS News.
Parlatore last week sent a letter to the Jan. 6 committee asking for the proceedings to be recorded, claiming he is concerned the panel could “attempt to influence the outcome” of the Pennsylvania state elections.
“Given the committee’s demonstrated propensity for releasing edited clips of interviews without the requisite context to support a false partisan narrative, I am concerned that there is a risk that your committee will do the same to Senator Mastriano,” Parlatore wrote.
The committee has declined to comment.
The Jan. 6 committee in February asked Mastriano to sit for a deposition and turn over documents related to a scheme by Trump’s allies to put up phony electors in seven battleground states, including Pennsylvania.
A Senate Judiciary report released late last year alleged that Mastriano and his wife “took part in the January 6 insurrection,” citing footage of them passing through breached barricades and police lines at the Capitol. Mastriano, who organized bus trips for people going to the Capitol that day, has said he left when things turned violent.
The House Jan. 6 committee this summer held a series of blockbuster public hearings to reveal some of their findings over the yearlong investigation into the attack. The hearings featured clips from depositions as well as public testimony from some officials.
Since the hearings began in June, the Justice Department has begun investigating the phony elector scheme.
Mastriano easily won the nine-person GOP gubernatorial primary on May 17, despite fears from establishment Republicans about his chances in a general election in the Keystone State.
A victory by Mastriano in November could have huge implications for the 2024 election, since Pennsylvania is one of about a dozen states where the Secretary of State, a state’s top elections official, is chosen by the governor rather than elected.