Democracy Has Prevailed.

August 9, 2022

Today's News (It's More Than Mar-A-Lago!)

From The NYTimes:

In the wake of the F.B.I. search of former President Donald J. Trump’s property in Florida, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is gearing up to meet with two potentially key witnesses in its separate inquiry on Tuesday.

The committee is expected to meet with Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state under Mr. Trump, and Douglas V. Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania who served as a point person in the state for a plan to keep Mr. Trump in power by using slates of “alternative” or “fake” electors.

That's today!

And this is what the Times has to say about State Sen Doug Mastriano:

Point one (this is about the interview):

Tuesday’s virtual interview with Mr. Mastriano is expected to be short, because he plans to object to the panel’s rules about video recording. A lawyer for Mr. Mastriano, currently a state senator, said Mr. Mastriano believed the committee would selectively edit his testimony, and planned to insist on making his own video recording of the interview. The committee has rejected that option for other witnesses, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer.

“Senator Mastriano has nothing to hide and would be happy to answer their questions. Our only concern is to prevent the committee from releasing misleading and edited portions while keeping the proper context hidden. Either release the entirety or let me make a copy and we have no issue,” Timothy C. Parlatore, Mr. Mastriano’s lawyer, said in a text message. “Unfortunately the committee has refused to discuss any arrangements other than to demand that they be allowed to exclusively control what portions can be released.”

It is unclear what the committee’s response will be if Mr. Mastriano ends the interview abruptly.

The Philadelphia Inquirer also hinted at a reason for Doug's "happy to answer their questions/not happy to answer their questions" position:

Doug Mastriano is worried short video or audio clips of his testimony with the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot could hurt his campaign for governor if made public.

So, knowing that the committee would reject the proposal for Mastriano's attorney to make his own recording this is, perhaps, a ploy to be able to say "I really wanna testify" while not planning to the entire time.

We'll see.

Point two (about Doug on 1/6):

Mr. Mastriano, a former Army officer, was on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, though he later explained in a statement that “he followed the directions of the Capitol Police and respected all police lines” that day. The committee has said it wants to interview Mr. Mastriano because he spoke directly with Mr. Trump about his “postelection activities.”

This is not altogether complete as we know from this reporting from WHYY:

Yet over the weekend, individuals using the hashtag “#SeditionHunters,” which has been used to crowdsource information about the riot from social media and many hours of streamed video, uncovered screenshots that appear to show Mastriano much closer to the action.

In one, he is visible standing on the Capitol lawn with his wife. In another, Mastriano appears poised to stroll past police barricades as rioters push past them.

Take a look:

You're welcome, grey lady.

Point three (this about the fake electors):

Emails reviewed by The New York Times also show that Mr. Mastriano served a point person for the Trump campaign as it assembled groups of pro-Trump electors in states won by President Biden. The emails showed Mr. Mastriano needed assurances to go along with the plan because other Republicans had told him it was “illegal.”

Think about that for a second. Think back to what the GOP in Pennsylvania did that was different from most of the other "fake elector" states.

Five out of the seven used this text:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Wisconsin, do hereby certify the following...

While Pennsylvania went with this instead:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Pennsylvania, hereby certify the following...  [Added text emphasized.]

If the text was added to convince Trump's "point person" in Pennsylvania for him to be comfortable with the plan's legality, then why has Doug Mastriano not commented on the other five states?

If that text's inclusion was necessary for Pennsylvania's "fake electors" to be (in Doug's eyes, at least) legal, then surely the other states' certificates must be seen by those same Mastriano eyes as illegal, right?

Why hasn't he said so?

He's taken an oath, you know. Here it is:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.
Support, obey and defend the Constitution. That's what it says. Right there.

By remaining silent regarding Trump's assault on the Constitution or remaining silent on the other "fake elector" states, he's betraying his oath.

Yes, it's that simple.