Pa. GOP’s 2020 election inquiry contract extended by 6 months

People listen as President Donald Trump speaks during the rally that preceded the insurrection

People listen as President Donald Trump speaks during the rally that preceded the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Republicans in the Pennsylvania Legislature are extending their inquiry into the state’s 2020 presidential election inspired by former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

The contract is to last for another six months, through Nov. 18, under an extension signed last week by Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, the Senate Republicans’ general counsel, and the Senate’s chief clerk.

The original no-bid contract, including an addendum, was worth $485,115 and expired last week. The extension has no dollar figure attached to it.

Senate Republican officials say the contractor hasn’t billed for the contract’s full value while Republicans fight in court to get access to voting machines and certain information about voters and voting systems that Democrats say is protected by privacy laws.

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Senators leading what they call an “investigation” have yet to report any findings and say they are simply looking for ways to improve the state’s elections, not overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The undertaking has spawned three court cases and comes after Trump and his supporters have pressured allies in battleground states he lost to seek out fraud to validate their conspiracy theories.

Critics, including Republican senators, warn that its backers want nothing less than to overturn 2020′s election. Democrats have broadly opposed it and characterized it as an effort to discredit President Joe Biden’s win, damage confidence in elections and take away voting rights.

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