Pa. Sen. Mastriano’s plan to issue election subpoenas ‘stopped’

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, center, speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, center, speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa., after Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump to become 46th president of the United States. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A backer of former President Donald Trump’s effort to carry out an Arizona-style “forensic investigation” of Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election suggested Thursday that fellow Republicans in the state Senate are blocking his efforts.

In a video posted Thursday on Facebook, state Sen. Doug Mastriano did not name names, but blamed “the powers that be” for preventing him from holding a meeting of the committee he chairs to vote on issuing subpoenas to counties.

Mastriano, who has helped spread Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him in Pennsylvania, also said he has “been stopped for the time being.” Mastriano did not say how he was stopped, and later deleted the video.

Courts have repeatedly thrown out Republican claims about election fraud or illegalities, and critics say an election audit is duplicative, given the required audits already carried out by counties and the state.

Mastriano needs a quorum of his committee to meet.

Senate Republican leaders have been largely silent about Mastriano’s efforts while it has sowed discord in the Republican caucus. Democrats oppose it.

On July 7, Mastriano sent letters to Philadelphia and York and Tioga counties with a sweeping request for access to documents, information and equipment, giving them until July 31 to formulate a plan to comply, under threat of a subpoena.

All three effectively refused to cooperate.

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