A Pennsylvania Republican legislator accused political opponents of threatening every county ahead of his “forensic investigation” into the 2020 presidential election.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano sought “information and materials” from Philadelphia County, York County, and Tiago County for his Intergovernmental Operations Committee audit. He gave counties a July 31 deadline to comply or else subpoenas will be issued.
However, multiple Democrats allegedly attempted to “obstruct” his actions with a “veiled threat” to the same counties. They even reportedly employed “scare tactics” across the Commonwealth.
“What we are seeing is a convergence of scare tactics from [the Tom] Wolf administration and the Attorney General [Josh Shapiro] to intimidate county officials and obstruct a forensic investigation,” he said in a statement.
Mastriano believes the governor and attorney general’s intimidating behavior is preventing the Keystone State from conducting government business. He now suspects the pair has not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.
“[Wolf and Shapiro] are standing in the way of the constitutional authority of the General Assembly,” he said. “For people who once lectured the state about transparency and accountability, we all ask what do they have to hide?”
The official record shows President Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes. Election authorities claim they investigated after the election and found no overwhelming evidence of significant fraud. Although the Trump campaign filed multiple lawsuits alleging voting irregularities, federal judges dismissed most of them.
Meanwhile, a different forensic audit is concluding in Maricopa County, Arizona. The Senate-led inquiry has drawn a lot of objection from both local and federal authorities. BL understands the investigation is comparable to the proposed election investigation that also examines the 2021 primary. Before the auditor’s findings are released late summer, the U.S. Department of Justice is widely expected to interfere with the Grand Canyon State’s probe.
Pennsylvania acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica Degraffenreid issued a directive that warns complying with Mastriano’s request could result in equipment decertification.
“[The Commonwealth] will not reimburse any cost of replacement voting equipment for which certification or use authority has been withdrawn pursuant to this directive,” she said in a statement.
Mastriano believes the secretary’s words are actually a “threat disguised as a ‘directive.'” The senator, who former President Donald Trump wants to run for governor in 2022, accused Degraffenreid of operating “outside the extent of her constitutional authority.”
According to the Washington Examiner, the governor’s office intends to “stand up to any attempt to disrupt our electoral process and undermine our elections.” The Pennsylvania Department of State similarly warned counties against giving “third-party entities” access to voting machines.
Mastriano also rebuked the attorney general for earlier accusing the senator of paying “tribute” to former President Trump and spreading “disinformation” about elections.
“Attorney General Shapiro has made many television appearances and social media statements to threaten costly legal action, and make baseless claims about how much an investigation would cost taxpayers,” Mastriano said in the statement.
Trump and his supporters applauded Arizona’s GOP-controlled Senate for successfully using subpoenas to obtain ballots and other election materials for audit.
Similar audits have been pursued in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsim, and other battleground states where Biden initially won.