How Doug Mastriano promoted election lies between Election Day and Jan. 6

State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) speaks at the May 15, 2020, protest outside the state capitol

State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) speaks at the May 15, 2020, protest outside the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (Kate Landis/WITF)

This story originally appeared on WITF.

Pennsylvania Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano has been identified as a key figure by the House Jan. 6 committee in their investigation into the Capitol insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Mastriano repeatedly supported Trump’s election-fraud lies, including staging a policy committee meeting in November 2020 that gave Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani — and Trump, who called into the meeting — a platform for disinformation. Mastriano spent over $3,000 to bus over 100 Trump supporters to D.C. on Jan. 6.

During the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Mastriano was seen crossing police barricades. He said he did not cross any lines established by law enforcement.

Mastriano has denied a subpoena from the committee, but recently agreed to an interview in lieu of a deposition. He has also voluntarily handed over some documents — but the committee said it was not requesting documents involving his work as a Pennsylvania state senator.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

From Election Day to Jan. 6, Mastriano promoted baseless conspiracy theories. The Jan. 6 committee has said he worked with the Trump White House to undermine the results of the 2020 election.

He condemned the insurrection, despite spreading disinformation that motivated the attack, according to reporting from news organizations, investigations, and public records.

The Jan. 6 committee has also subpoenaed midstate Pa. Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry for his involvement in Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 Election.

Here’s the timeline for how Scott Perry promoted election lies between Election Day and Jan. 6.

Information used in these timelines comes from the Jan. 6 committee, the lawmaker’s social media pages, public records, and other reporting.

Timeline of Sen. Mastriano’s history of spreading disinformation about the 2020 Election and attempting to overturn its results between Nov. 2, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021.
Timeline of Sen. Mastriano’s history of spreading disinformation about the 2020 Election and attempting to overturn its results between Nov. 2, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021. (Robby Brod/WITF)

Between Election Day and Jan. 6, Doug Mastriano participated in an election fraud hearing, and hosted a gathering in Gettysburg with Trump’s legal team that was based on conspiracy theories.

Mastriano directly communicated with a Trump-sympathetic DOJ official about his false election fraud claims, which he also spread to his tens of thousands of social media followers. In the 64 days between Election Day and Jan. 6, he posted debunked disinformation on his Facebook page more than 100 times. Mastriano led the effort in the Pa. General Assembly to call for a partisan audit of the 2020 Election, despite no widespread voter fraud being detected.

The following timeline comes from Mastriano’s social media, official website, and the Jan. 6 committee report.

  • 11/4/2020 – Celebrates his re-election as State Senator in Pa.’s 33rd Senatorial District. Acknowledges the results of his race are legitimate.
  • 11/5/2020 – Mastriano calls on Pa. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to resign, over false claims of election fraud.
  • 11/6/2020 – CallsBiden’s confirmed 2020 election win “statistically impossible” and cites conspiracy theories about voting irregularities.
  • 11/6/2020 – Appears on News Talk 103.7 radio show and spreads disinformation to callers, alleging Act 77 was illegally passed and was responsible for Biden’s win in Pa.
  • 11/7/2020 – Shares debunked conspiracy theory about glitches in voting machines in Georgia causing results to change.
  • 11/7/2020 – Shares statement from Trump announcing legal action against legally cast votes.
  • 11/9/2020 – Posts “list of suspected fraud issues” from far-right conspiracy theory website Gateway Pundit.
  • 11/9/2020 – Hosts rally at Pa.’s Capitol Building advocating for the state legislature to choose false electors.
  • 11/10/2020 – Calls for audit of Pa.’s 2020 election and Boockvar’s resignation. Provides no proof of voter fraud.
  • 11/11/2020 – Shares interview he did with Sean Hannity, where he falsely claims Democrats conspired to steal the election.
  • 11/12/2020 – Posts Trump tweet spreading debunked claims about Dominion voting machines altering election results.
  • 11/13/2020 – Again calls for an audit, cites no proof of election fraud.
  • 11/14/2020 – Shares Candace Owens tweet falsely claiming “The Democrats rigged a United States election in the middle of the night by dumping mail-in ballots.” He provides no proof to support this claim.
  • 11/16/2020 – Posts Trump tweet spreading debunked conspiracy theories about Dominion voting software being altered by its creators.
  • 11/25/2020 – Holds event with Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani about false claims of widespread election fraud.
  • 11/27/2020 – Introduces bill rejecting certification of Pa. votes.
  • 11/27/2020 – Shares video of himself during Pa. Senate hearing questioning Boockvar about election security.
  • 11/28/2020 – Shares tweet claiming Biden “cheated” by citing a number of statistics about the 2020 election that the tweet author falsely says indicates fraud.
  • 11/28/2020 – Mastriano promotes FOX & Friends appearance where he spreads election disinformation.
  • 12/4/2020 – Calls on Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro to “appoint special prosecutor and Inspector General to investigate IT concerns with state’s election systems.” He requests the Inspector General to review Pa.’s conduct in the 2020 election to make recommendations to the General Assembly. He notifies the Pa. Congressional Delegation “of their ability to object to Presidential Electors as they see fit.”
  • 12/11/20 – Falsely claims enough inconsistencies happened in Pa. that the 2020 vote can’t be counted.
  • 12/11/2020 – Attends Trump event at Pa. Capitol Building protesting Biden’s win.
  • 12/11/2020 – Writes op-ed falsely claiming Gov. Wolf and Pa. Democrats changed the voting laws to favor their party. There is no evidence of this happening.
  • 12/12/2020 – Speaks at March for Trump event at Freedom Plaza.
  • 12/14/2020 – Shares article promoting baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion machines altering election results.
  • 12/15/2020 – Shares post highlighting the importance of Jan. 6 to the electoral process, falsely claims VP Pence can reject the certification of the ballots.
  • 12/15/2020 – Posts op-ed by conservative newspaper Epoch Times’ editorial board, falsely claiming the election had “unprecedented” voter fraud. The 2020 Election was confirmed to be the most secure election in history by multiple federal agencies.
  • 12/15/2020 – Posts political cartoon of Biden “stealing” states away from Trump. “I’ll take back what’s mine,” the cartoon Trump says. There’s no evidence of Biden altering the vote count.
  • 12/16/2020 – Appears on NewsMax and falsely claims Dominion voting machines were “intentionally built” to create tabulation errors. He provides no proof to support this.
  • 12/18/2020 – Falsely alleges widespread voter fraud in Pa.’s 2020 elections.
  • 12/19/2020 – Shares Trump tweet claiming a report from one of his advisors confirms it was “statistically impossible” for Trump to lost the election.
  • 12/22/2020 – Tweets baseless claims of widespread fraud in Pa.’s 2020 election.
  • 12/29/20 – Mastriano emails former acting United States deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue regarding Pennsylvania allegations.
  • 12/23/2020 – Falsely claims there were “vote dumps” in the 2020 Election that altered Pa.’s results.
  • 12/26/2020 – Claims Trump lawyer Sidney Powell has “evidence to prove direct foreign interference” in the 2020 Election. There is no proof of foreign interference in the election, and federal agencies said it was the most secure election in U.S. history.
  • 12/27/2020 – Posts debunked conspiracy theory about there being a state actor who was able to “optimize [their] desired outcome.” There is no proof of widespread fraud in the 2020 Election.
  • 12/30/2020 – Promotes election disinformation on Glenn Beck’s radio show.
  • 12/30/2020 – Disparages Gov. Wolf for counting legally cast votes and insists there was widespread fraud despite providing no credible evidence.
  • 12/31/2020 – Tweets letter from Pa. General Assembly calling on GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy to dispute Pa.’s election results.
  • 1/2/2021 – Appears on NewsMax and spread disinformation about widespread irregularities in the election results. He provides no proof to support his claims.
  • 1/3/2021 – Shares article touting him as a “GOP legislator most loyal to Trump.”
  • 1/3/2021 – Shares video comparing Democrats’ past election challenges to his in 2020.
  • 1/4/2021 – Shares Rep. Scott Perry’s Facebook post about objecting to certifying Pa.’s electoral votes. “Thank you!” he writes.
  • 1/5/2021 – Shares Trump tweet falsely claiming VP Pence can “reject fraudlently chosen electors.” The vice president does not have authority to choose electors, and there is no proof that widespread fraud altered the results.
  • 1/5/2021 – Shares video of past event with Trump’s legal team disputing Pa.’s election results based on debunked claims of voter fraud.
  • 1/6/2021 – Spends over $3,000 “from his campaign account” to bus people to the “Save America Rally” in D.C., is present on the Capitol grounds and crosses a police barricade.
  • 1/6/2021 – President Trump encourages his supporters to march to the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes.
  • 1/6/2021 – Mastriano condemns Jan. 6 violence.
  • 1/7/2021 – Vice President Pence officially affirms the Electoral College votes and declares Joseph R. Biden the president-elect.
  • 1/7/2021 – Mastriano claims he went to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to support Trump, falsely says he “did not go beyond police lines.” The Senate Judiciary Committee report said he “passed through breached barricades and police lines,” which is supported by video evidence.
  • 1/7/2021 – Claims that Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed while attempting to breach a barricaded door during the insurrection, was “murdered… in cold blood” by Capitol Police. The shooting was later investigated and deemed to be “lawful and within Department policy.”
  • 1/11/2021 – Supports Rep. Scott Perry’s statement rejecting calls to resign in the face of his involvement with attempting to overturn the 2020 Election.
  • 1/20/2021 – Joseph R. Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America.
  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor
Timeline of events involving Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano and midstate U.S. Rep. Scott Perry that were included in the Jan. 6 committee’s report.
Timeline of events involving Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano and midstate U.S. Rep. Scott Perry that were included in the Jan. 6 committee’s report. (Robby Brod/WITF)

The House January 6th Select Committee released a report last year detailing how Trump and his allies planned to undermine the results of the 2020 Election.

The report designated Perry’s and Mastriano’s connections to the insurrection as “particularly notable.” Both lawmakers “participated in the pressure campaign against [the] DOJ” to help overturn the election, according to the report.

The report lists the following events related to Perry and Mastriano:

  • 12/21/2020 – Trump meets with Perry and other House Freedom Caucus members to strategize about January 6.
  • 12/23/2020 – Around this date, Jeffrey Clark meets with Trump and Perry in the Oval Office, which violates the DOJ-White House contacts policy.
  • 12/26/2020 – Perry texts former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows: “Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down… 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!”
  • 12/27/2020 – Perry emails former acting U.S. deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue five documents summarizing numerous false Pennsylvania election fraud claims.
  • 12/27/2020 – Perry calls Donoghue at Trump’s behest to discuss a false claim that Pennsylvania had 205,000 more votes than voters. Perry also tells Donoghue that Jeffrey Clark is “the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this.”
  • 12/29/2020 – Email from Mastriano to Donoghue regarding Pennsylvania allegations.
  • 1/6/2021 – President Trump encourages his supporters to march to the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes.
  • 1/6/2021 – Mastriano, who participated in Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud hearings, spent over $3,000 from his campaign account to bus people to the January 6 “Save America Rally,” and was present on the Capitol grounds as the insurrection unfolded. Like Perry, Mastriano also directly communicated with Donoghue about his false election fraud claims, according to the report.
  • 1/7/2021 – Vice President Pence officially affirms the Electoral College votes and declares Joseph R. Biden the president-elect.
  • 1/20/2021 – Joseph R. Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America.

Get the WHYY app!

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal