This story originally appeared on WITF.
A newly-released transcript from the January 6 House select committee sheds light on Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s deposition in August.
Mastriano, a Republican representing Adams and Franklin counties, didn’t answer questions during the deposition, which was held over video chat. He and his lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, left the call after Parlatore asked several questions about committee procedure.
But a transcript of the conversation shows that House select committee investigative counsel then shared the questions they wanted to ask him — including a question about a phone call between Mastriano and Vice President Mike Pence.
“We would’ve asked about the calls that Senator Mastriano may have had with the President or members of the White House or other officials on January 6th, including a call he apparently placed to the Vice President on the 6th,” states the transcript, which redacted the name of the investigative counsel member speaking. The committee’s final report doesn’t mention such a call.
The possibility that Mastriano called Pence raises questions about his role in Trump’s pressure campaign on Jan. 6 to get Congress and the vice president to reject the electoral college votes and accept the bogus slates of electors that Republicans in Pennsylvania and elsewhere offered.
The committee also wanted to ask Mastriano about his conversations with former president Donald Trump, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other Trump campaign staff.
Investigators also wanted to learn more about the Nov. 25, 2020 public event Mastriano and other state-level Republicans held in Gettysburg, where Trump phoned in to make baseless election fraud claims.
Mastriano has often repeated such claims, and some special counsel questions aimed to get details from Mastriano about such supposed evidence.
Pence was not immediately available. Parlatore said Thursday that he has no knowledge of any phone call between Mastriano and the former vice president.
The high profile criminal defense attorney, who also represents Trump, said that on Jan. 6, 2021, Mastriano was pushing for a 10-day pause on the counting of the electoral college votes so that Pennsylvania State Police, or some other state authority, or the FBI or federal Department of Homeland Security, could investigate claims of election fraud.
“He was not trying to overturn the will of the people,” Parlatore said. “He was not trying to substitute a fake slate of electors. What he was trying to do was to ensure there was a proper investigation.”
County, state and federal judges and public officials of both political parties, as well as election experts, journalists and some of Trump’s own advisers, have concluded the 2020 election was free and fair.
Parlatore said Mastriano still believes otherwise.
He said Mastriano wanted to talk to the committee, but the committee wouldn’t agree to his terms, such as the ability to record the conversation.
“He just wanted to do it in a way that couldn’t be weaponized to try to influence the Pennsylvania 2022 election,” Parlatore said.
Mastriano lost his bid to become governor of Pennsylvania by 14 points to Democrat Josh Shapiro in November.