Democracy Has Prevailed.

December 31, 2022

Timothy Parlatore (Doug Mastriano's Attorney) RESPONDED

Ok, so it all started with yesterday's blog post

That's the one where I asserted that St Sen Mastriano effectively played out the clock in regards to testifying to anything of substance to the January 6 Committee.

In that blog post I wrote:

The bulk of the testimony, such as it is, is Doug's attorney Timothy Parlatore getting all feisty and nitpicky over whether a committee's subpoena was signed with an autopen or whether the committee has designated two individuals to conduct the investigation.

When Parlatore doesn't get the answers he wants, he and Doug walk.

For the record, the committee said they dealt with in correspondence with Doug and his attorney.

If I am reading Parlatore's statements correctly (and if I am not, he's completely free to email me to correct the record), he's saying that the committee itself is not following it's own rules and so therefore Sen Mastriano won't comply and testify. Doug would be happy to comply, of course, if only the committee were to follow Parlatore's understanding of its own rules.

For the record, the committee states it's following its own rules.

Out of fairness (and I am nothing if not fair), I emailed this link to Attorney Parlatore and with that link I included this message:

Feel free to write back if you'd like. I promise to post it verbatim on the blog - nothing is off the record.

So let me uphold my end of the deal and post verbatim what Doug's attorney wrote:

You really should have read the lawsuit that we filed immediately thereafter, which lays out exactly what the issues with this committee conducting depositions were. When reading the docket, you’ll notice that the committee delayed responding to the lawsuit and ultimately defaulted because they had no response to the legal infirmities raised. Many witnesses raised similar issues and the committee chose to proceed by voluntary interview, rather than deposition to avoid exactly the litigation that Sen. Mastriano commenced. 

While the email did include this: 

CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This E-mail (including any attachments) is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510-2521, is confidential, and may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received the message in error, please reply to notify the sender and then delete the message. Thank you.
Let me state that I promised to post whatever he sent and in his response he said nothing to me about not posting it on line. I am the intended recipient of the message and so (by my reading of the notice) I am not prohibited from the retaining, disseminating, distributing or copying it as far as I can tell.

In any event, it'll take some time to sift through Doug's lawsuit (and, of course, the committee's response etc). Though I will say that I'm not seeing much of a difference between my general description of Doug's case and his attorney's, albeit more detail driven, description. 

Give me a few days to sift.

In the meantime, can I point out a few more than obvious facts?

  1. The January 6 Committee is in the process of dissolving and so any legal issues about its existence and legitimacy are soon going to be moot and,
  2. In the released testimony, Atty Parlatore stated "Senator Mastriano is not concerned about answering questions here.  Our primary concern is obviously over this committee's demonstrated history of releasing edited and misleading clips in an effort to really lie to the public and mislead them.  And considering that he's currently in a general election, we want to make sure that we have some protection for that" (p. 8) and,
  3. St Sen Doug Mastriano lost that general election by almost 800,000 votes.

Given those facts will St Sen Mastriano, that self-proclaimed champion of transparency, now answer the questions that the committee would have asked him?

For example, questions about:

  • Doug's involvement and understanding of a hearing that took place on November 25, 2020, in Gettysburg at a Wyndham Hotel that was related to the election.
  • Doug's knowledge of or involvement with the GOP electors who met to cast electoral college votes in December 2020 for the states that Trump lost.
  • Doug's presence in Washington DC at or near Capitol Hill on January 6th.

Those three were mentioned in yesterday's blog post but something's popped up in the news that I really really want Doug to explain. It's also from his testimony. 

This "would have" from the committee:

We would've asked about the calls Senator Mastriano may have had with the President or members of the White House or other officials on January 6, including a call he apparently place to the Vice President on the 6th. (p. 12)
Whah? Doug apparently made a phone call to VP Pence on January 6? When? What time of day? Was it before, during or after the attack on the Capitol?  And what did they discuss?


December 30, 2022

St Sen Transparency Successfully Plays Out The Clock

The January 6 Committee has released the transcript of St Sen (and failed GOP cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano's testimony.

And Sen Mastriano, that champion of transparency, has successfully (for now) played out the clock.

Chris Potter of WESA tweeted this yesterday:

For those happy few who have yet to learn snarky internet-speak, "tl;dr" stands for "Too long. Didn't Read."

The bulk of the testimony, such as it is, is Doug's attorney Timothy Parlatore getting all feisty and nitpicky over whether a committee's subpoena was signed with an autopen or whether the committee has designated two individuals to conduct the investigation.

When Parlatore doesn't get the answers he wants, he and Doug walk.

For the record, the committee said they dealt with in correspondence with Doug and his attorney.

If I am reading Parlatore's statements correctly (and if I am not, he's completely free to email me to correct the record), he's saying that the committee itself is not following it's own rules and so therefore Sen Mastriano won't comply and testify. Doug would be happy to comply, of course, if only the committee were to follow Parlatore's understanding of its own rules.

For the record, the committee states it's following its own rules.

Also for the record, no one else among the vast list of those who've testified before the committee (among them Donald Trump Jr or William Barr) has successfully backed out of testifying using the same argument.

It's like Doug was insisting on a different set of rules or something.

Oh, well. He played out the clock. Good for Sen Transparency.

In any event, this is what some of what the committee would have asked him had he sat down and answered questions under oath. The committee:

  • would have asked about Doug's involvement and understanding of a hearing that took place on November 25, 2020, in Gettysburg at a Wyndham Hotel that was related to the election.
  • would have asked Doug about direct communications that he had with the President related to the election and joint session of Congress.
  • would have asked Doug about his knowledge or involvement of the GOP electors who met to cast electoral college votes in December 2020 for the states that Trump lost.
  • would have asked Doug about his presence in Washington DC at or near Capitol Hill on January 6th.

Even though Doug's attorney lawyered Doug's way out of answering those questions, I still want to hear the truth.

December 29, 2022

More Digging Into The 1/6 Committee Report (An Ongoing Project)

Ok, so take a look at this from The Report:

Within days of the election, dozens of “Stop the Steal” protests were organized around the country. The Proud Boys participated alongside other right-wing extremist groups in some of them, including a November 7, 2020, protest outside of the Pennsylvania State capitol in Harrisburg.106 The two events in Washington, DC—on November 14, 2020, and the other on December 12, 2020—proved to be especially important for the group’s evolution. (p. 509)

That raised "106" is an endnote that leads to this

After news networks declared President Donald Trump the loser of the 2020 election on Saturday, about 2,000 of his supporters gathered here in the capital of Pennsylvania — a must-win state the president lost — for a heavily armed pity party.  


[Rep. Dan Mueser (R-Pa.)] was surrounded by fascists. To his left, a man waved a flag for the anti-Semitic white nationalist movement known as America First. To his right, a man clad in black held a sign that read “Standing Back And Standing By For Our President” — a reference to when Trump, asked at a debate to condemn the Proud Boys, instead told them to “stand back and stand by.” 

This is what it looked like:

You should note the "flag for the anti-Semitic white nationalist movement known as America First" flying just behind Mueser as he speaks.

Why did I point it out?

This is why


St Sen (and failed cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano was there. At a rally attended by some Proud Boys. Speaking to the crowd in front of an America First flag.


Even when he isn't specifically mentioned in the January 6 report, he's there.

How much does Doug Mastriano know about the Proud Boys and America First?






December 23, 2022

The January 6 Committee Report Has Been Released (Let's Focus on Doug Mastriano)

And (as the man said) all politics is local, let's take a look at the local politicians/events mentioned in The Report.

This may take some time.

We have to start with St Sen (and failed GOP cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano.

Doug gets big mentions in the section of the report focusing on the fake electors (p. 276-277):

The concept of State legislators appointing their own electors featured prominently in a series of hastily arranged official and unofficial “hearings” with State legislators that the Trump team announced on November 24, 2020. On November 25th, President Trump called in to an unofficial meeting with legislators in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The meeting was set up to appear like an official hearing, but it was not. It took place in a hotel ballroom, and those presenting arguments or purported evidence, like Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and others, were not placed under oath. According to President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate Jake Corman, he had initially been asked by State Senator Doug Mastriano to hold a hearing about the election. Corman responded that any formal hearing should be official, with sworn testimony, and open to both parties. That was not what Senator Mastriano ultimately convened.

No, it wasn't.


President Trump invited some of the lawmakers to come meet him at the White House that evening and, according to Giuliani, it was “a large group” that went. Special Assistant to the President Cassidy Hutchinson’s text messages with Kerik included the guest list and descriptions of the vehicles that would need access to the White House grounds. Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano drove one car, a hired driver drove a van with most of the State legislators, and Kerik drove an SUV with attorney Katherine Friess and election-conspiracy proponent Phil Waldron. Hutchinson estimated that at least 29 visitors traveled from Pennsylvania to the White House that day, and she explained that their conversation with the President touched on holding a special session of the State legislature to appoint Trump electors.
Doug drove to DC?

That would be the day that this happened:

A Pennsylvania state senator abruptly left a West Wing meeting with President Donald Trump after being informed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, a person with direct knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano had gone to the White House last Wednesday with like-minded Republican state lawmakers shortly after a four-hour-plus public meeting that Mastriano helped host in Gettysburg — maskless — to discuss efforts to overturn president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

Trump told Mastriano that White House medical personnel would take care of him, his son and his son’s friend, who were also there for the Oval Office meeting and tested positive. The meeting continued after Mastriano and the others left, the person said.

Big day for Doug - take part in events leading to an attempted coup, expose his son (and his son's friend) to a deadly virus. You know. The usual for a science-denying insurrectionist.

If there was any doubt how deeply Doug was involved, they're wiped away a few pages later (p 293-294):

While many State officials resisted President Trump’s demands, some eagerly joined the President’s efforts. 

President Trump routinely coordinated with Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano, whose request led to the November 25, 2020, hotel “hearing” in Gettysburg, and who traveled to Washington to meet with the President afterward. Senator Mastriano, who would later charter and pay for buses to Washington for the President’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6th and was near the Capitol during the attack, quickly rose to favor with the President.

Trump routinely coordinated with Mastriano.

So how routine was this coordination between Trump and Mastriano?

This much (p 294-295):

On November 30th, President Trump called Mastriano, interrupting him during a radio interview and telling listeners that “Doug is the absolute hero” and people are “really angry in Pennsylvania.”

On December 5th, Senator Mastriano sent an email to President Trump’s executive assistant, Molly Michael, with a Supreme Court Amicus Brief for the President that the pair “discussed yesterday,” related to a case brought by Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA) against his own State, which the Supreme Court rejected just a few days later.

On December 14th, President Trump’s executive assistant sent Mastriano an email “From POTUS” with talking points promoting a conspiracy theory about election machines.

And on December 21st, Mastriano sent another email for President Trump, in which he wrote: “Dear Mr. President—attached please find the ‘killer letter’ on the Pennsylvania election that we discussed last night” that “I only just completed.” This letter recapped the Gettysburg hotel hearing on November 25th, and claimed that “there is rampant election fraud in Pennsylvania that must be investigated, remedied and rectified.” President Trump sent that letter to John Eastman, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, Rush Limbaugh, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Lou Dobbs, and others.

Only there was no fraud.

Then there's this - which was new to me (p-295):

As January 6th approached, Senator Mastriano’s involvement in attempts to overturn the election only grew. On December 23rd, he led a second group of Pennsylvania State senators for a meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office, which Giuliani claimed “swayed about 20” of them. Neither Speaker Cutler nor Senate President Corman participated.
A second meeting in the Oval Office? Who were they?

Then on January 5, this happened:

State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) took the official oath of office today and began serving his second term in the Pennsylvania Senate, representing residents of Adams, Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.

That would be this oath

I do solemnly swear 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.

And yet from the report (pg 295):

On January 5th, President Trump spoke again with Mastriano and then notified the White House operator that Mastriano “will be calling in for the Vice President” soon. That evening Senator Mastriano sent two more emails for the President. One was a letter addressed to Vice President Pence on behalf of nearly 100 legislators from various States; the other was a letter directed to McConnell and McCarthy from Pennsylvania lawmakers, this time asking Congress to postpone acting on the 6th. President Trump tweeted the letter that night, captioning it “BIG NEWS IN PENNSYLVANIA!” and, after midnight, he retweeted that “Pennsylvania is going to Trump. The legislators have spoken.” As described elsewhere in this report, that letter, and letters like it, were used in the effort to convince Vice President Pence that he could and should affect the outcome of the joint session of Congress on January 6th.

Oath betrayed.

Let's stop there.

December 22, 2022

Ok, So The Release Is Delayed - But Look At What The Inquirer Found!

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Hundreds of pages of deposition transcripts released Wednesday by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack offered new insights into the roles Pennsylvania Republicans played in aiding President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The committee is expected to issue the full report on its investigation on Thursday. But the newly released transcripts were filled with new details including that Mike Roman, a Kensington native and one of Trump’s top election advisers, helped spearhead the effort to send pro-Trump electors to Washington as Congress met to certify the election results that day.

They also revealed a previously undisclosed attempt by State Sen. Doug Mastriano to access certain voting machines days before Jan. 6 as well as references to a plan floated by the White House to sue Pennsylvania directly in the U.S. Supreme Court over its administration of the 2020 vote. The documents also shed new light on the role a congressional staffer for U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly played behind the scenes. [Emphasis added.]


Then there's this:

Doug Mastriano and Jenna Ellis: The state senator and Trump lawyer sought access to Pennsylvania voting machines

The committee’s interview with Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis also shed light on Mastriano’s postelection activities.

“We made good headway convincing [hopefully] two counties with Dominion machines in Pennsylvania,” Mastriano wrote in a Dec. 28 email to Ellis, according to the transcript.

In another email Mastriano makes reference to efforts to gain access to “ballot images.” Ellis declined to tell investigators why Mastriano was interested in that.

In a Dec. 29 email, Mastriano told Ellis that he’d e-mailed Trump himself with a letter related to “securing voluntary access for Dominion forensics.”

Oh, Doug. You have so much explaining to do!

December 21, 2022

Today's The Day

 From CNN this morning:

The final report the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack is set to release Wednesday launches a new era for criminal investigators, politicians and members of the public who have been eager to see the nuts and bolts of its work.

In addition to the report, the committee will start the much-anticipated rolling release of thousands of pages of witness transcripts, the behind-the-scenes building blocks to its investigation that the Justice Department, Republican lawmakers and witnesses themselves have been calling for. 

That's today. 

Looking forward to it.

December 20, 2022

The January 6 Committee Executive Summary! (Some Pennsylvania Connections)

Here's where you can find the summary.

And guess, just guess, who's mentioned in a footnote!

Take a look at this paragraph from pages 15-16:

Ultimately, even Rudolph Giuliani and his legal team acknowledged that they had no definitive evidence of election fraud sufficient to change the election outcome. For example, although Giuliani repeatedly had claimed in public that Dominion voting machines stole the election, he admitted during his Select Committee deposition that “I do not think the machines stole the election.”94 An attorney representing his lead investigator, Bernard Kerik, declared in a letter to the Select Committee that “it was impossible for Kerik and his team to determine conclusively whether there was widespread fraud or whether that widespread fraud would have altered the outcome of the election.” 95 Kerik also emailed President Trump’s chief of staff on December 28, 2020, writing: “We can do all the investigations we want later, but if the president plans on winning, it’s the legislators that have to be moved and this will do just that.” 96 Other Trump lawyers and supporters, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Phil Waldron, and Michael Flynn, all invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when asked by the Select Committee what supposed proof they uncovered that the election was stolen.97 Not a single witness--nor any combination of witnesses--provided the Select Committee with evidence demonstrating that fraud occurred on a scale even remotely close to changing the outcome in any State.98

And it's that last footnote (footnote 98) that leads us here:

98 Nor was there such evidence of widespread fraud in any of the documents produced in response to Select Committee subpoenas issued to the proponents of the claims, including Rudy Giuliani and his team members and investigators Bernard Kerik and Christina Bobb, or other proponents of election fraud claims such as Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano, Arizona legislator Mark Finchem, disbarred attorney Phill Kline, and attorneys Sidney Powell, Cleta Mitchell, and John Eastman. Not one of them provided evidence raising genuine questions about the election outcome. In short, it was a big scam.
I'll state it again:

Not one of them provided evidence raising genuine questions about the election outcome. In short, it was a big scam.

Then there's Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

He first shows up here on page 36:

At one point during the December 27th call in which Donoghue refuted Trump’s fraud allegations, Donoghue recorded in handwritten notes a request Trump made specifically to him and Acting Attorney General Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen.” Donoghue explained: “[T]he Department had zero involvement in anyone’s political strategy,” and “he wanted us to say that it was corrupt.” “We told him we were not going to do that.” At the time, neither Rosen nor Donoghue knew the full extent to which Republican Congressmen, including Representative Scott Perry, were attempting to assist Trump to overturn the election results.

Ah, yes. That DOJ phone call.

Doug Mastriano showed up there too, didn't he? In this note:

But back to Rep Perry. There's this on page 88:

Like Representative Jordan, Representative Perry was also involved in early post- election messaging strategy. Both Representative Jordan and Representative Perry were involved in discussions with White House officials about Vice President Pence’s role on January 6th as early as November 2020. Representative Perry was present for conversations in which the White House Counsel’s Office informed him and others that President Trump’s efforts to submit fake electoral votes were not legally sound. But perhaps most pivotally, he was involved in President Trump’s efforts to install Jeffrey Clark as the Acting Attorney General in December 2020 and January 2021. Beginning in early December 2020, Representative Perry suggested Clark as a candidate to Mark Meadows, then introduced Clark to President Trump. In the days before January 6th, Representative Perry advocated for President Trump to speak at the Capitol during the joint session, speaking to Mark Meadows on at least one occasion about it. He was also a participant in the January 2, 2021 call in which Representative Jordan, President Trump, and others discussed issuing social media posts to encourage Trump supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6th. After January 6th, Representative Perry reached out to White House staff asking to receive a Presidential pardon.
Why ask for a pardon unless you know what you did was illegal?

What else are we going to find as we sift through the summary and then the full report and then the evidence?

December 19, 2022

December 19 - What To Expect Tody

 From The NYTimes:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will hold its last public meeting on Monday afternoon, ending an 18-month investigation with the approval of its final report and a vote on issuing criminal and civil referrals against former President Donald J. Trump and his top allies.

During a business meeting at 1 p.m., the committee is expected to discuss some of the findings in its final report and recommendations for legislative changes.

The panel is also expected to vote on referring Mr. Trump to the Justice Department on charges of insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Referrals against Mr. Trump would not carry any legal weight or compel the Justice Department to take any action, but they would send a powerful signal that a congressional committee believes the former president committed certain crimes.

Politico has a little more:

The report that the select panel is expected to consider on Monday afternoon, described to POLITICO by two people familiar with its contents, reflects some recommendations from a subcommittee that evaluated potential criminal referrals. Among the charges that subcommittee proposes for Trump: 18 U.S.C. 2383, insurrection; 18 U.S.C. 1512(c), obstruction of an official proceeding; and 18 U.S.C. 371, conspiracy to defraud the United States government.

Insurrection - 18 U.S.C. 2383:

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Obstruction of an official proceeding - 18 U.S.C. 1512(c):

Whoever corruptly (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States government - 18 U.S.C. 371:

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.

Then there's this from PBS:

The committee on Monday could also make ethics referrals involving fellow lawmakers.

“We will also be considering what’s the appropriate remedy for members of Congress who ignore a congressional subpoena, as well as the evidence that was so pertinent to our investigation and why we wanted to bring them in,” Schiff said. “We have weighed what is the remedy for members of Congress. Is it a criminal referral to another branch of government, or is it better that the Congress police its own?”

He said the committee considered censure and ethics referrals and will be disclosing their decision Monday.

Lawmakers who did not comply with subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee included House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, as well as GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama.

And there's our old friend Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Who else in PA is attached to Scott Perry's tainted coattails?

I'll give January 6 Committee member Adam Schiff the final word on this. From CNN:

Schiff reiterated Sunday that he believes there is evidence that Trump committed criminal offenses related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“Viewing it as a former prosecutor, I think there’s sufficient evidence to charge the president,” he said. “The evidence seems pretty plain to me.”

“This is someone who, in multiple ways, tried to pressure state officials to find votes that didn’t exist. This is someone who tried to interfere with a joint session, even inciting a mob to attack the Capitol. If that’s not criminal, then I don’t know what is,” he added.

Schiff declined to comment on the specific charges the committee is planning to refer to the Justice Department as it relates to the former president, but he made clear he thinks Trump violated multiple criminal statutes, including one for insurrection.

“If you look at Donald Trump’s acts and you match them up against the statute, it’s a pretty good match,” Schiff told Tapper when asked specifically about a charge of insurrection.

“I think the president has violated multiple criminal laws. And I think you have to be treated like any other American who breaks the law, and that is, you have to be prosecuted,” he said

December 16, 2022

Rudy Giuliani And Pennsylvania: IN THE NEWZ

From the Washington Post:

An arm of the D.C. Bar found Thursday that Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and personal attorney to President Donald Trump, violated the terms of his license to practice law in the nation’s capital when he filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania trying to block certification of the results in the 2020 presidential election.

Pennsylvania, you say? 

Tell me more.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a bit more:

Giuliani personally argued the Trump campaign’s primary legal challenge in the state, which contained no specific allegations — let alone evidence — of fraud, yet asked a judge to take the extraordinary step of setting aside millions of votes based on supposition.

During a wildly stumbling November 2020 hearing before U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Giuliani lobbed unsupported conspiracy theories of a nationwide Democratic plot to steal the election that bore little relation to anything campaign lawyers had previously laid out in their filings.

Brann ultimately dismissed the case as one built on “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by the evidence” — a decision that was later upheld on appeal.

Judge Brann, you say? 

Yes. And Judge Brann's decision can be found here.

And this is what Judge Brann had to say about Trump's lawsuit:

In this action, the Trump Campaign and the Individual Plaintiffs (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) seek to discard millions of votes legally cast by Pennsylvanians from all corners – from Greene County to Pike County, and everywhere in between. In other words, Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters. This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens.

That has not happened. Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.

And so on. 

You'll note the "unsupported by evidence" part.

And yet that's what Giuliani asserted in the lawsuit. From CNN:

The ethics charges that were brought by Fox focused on a lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania that sought to throw out hundreds of thousands of votes in the battleground state.

Giuliani testified that, at first, he played only a limited role in crafting the lawsuit, contributing a few sentences aimed at setting the case up to be potentially consolidated with other lawsuits across the country that the Trump campaign was contemplating bringing. However, after other attorneys on the case sought to withdraw from it, Giuliani ultimately argued the case in front of a federal judge, claiming there there was “widespread, nationwide voter fraud” and that Democrats had plotted to steal the election in Pennsylvania. 

To which Judge Brann said, "Unsupported by evidence." 

And let's not forget what was going on in Pennsylvania when Judge Brann was filed this case on November 21, 2020.

That was a Friday.

And from York Dispatch we learn:

On Wednesday, [PA State Sen. Doug] Mastriano spearheaded a state Senate hearing during which Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, repeated unfounded claims that President-elect Biden won only because of widespread voting fraud in urban counties.

On Friday, a federal appeals court tossed the Trump campaign's lawsuit alleging fraud, and in its opinion, the panel of judges said the campaign's lawsuit offers neither "specific allegations" of wrongdoing nor "evidence."

In the story of Trump's attempted coup, where ever you look in Pennsylvania eventually you find Doug Mastriano.

December 15, 2022

St Sen Mastriano Does It Again!

And by "it" I mean taking credit for a program funded by something every Republican in Congress voted against and then not mentioning the funding source.

Take a look at the latest:

Today, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) announced over $500,000 in new funding for local law enforcement agencies in Adams and Franklin Counties.

The funding emanates from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program. The new grant program was amended into last year’s state budget and inspired by legislation championed by Senator Mastriano, SB 1193.

So who funds the "Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program"?

Guess what the PA House Appropriations Committee has to say?

PCCD Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program: October 13, 2022  (Funding Source: American Rescue Plan Act Funds)

  • Local law enforcement agency, Campus police or university police, Railroad or street railway police, Airport authority police, and County park police. - To provide funding to local law enforcement agencies to implement information technology improvements, purchase or upgrade equipment, cover non-traditional law enforcement personnel costs, support retention and recruitment efforts, and provide necessary training and cover related expenses. [Bolding in Original.]

We saw this happening last March and this is just the latest moment of Doug's non-transparency.

The funding is from the American Rescue Plan.

This is what I wrote back then:

That's the trillion dollar piece of legislation that was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021.

Oh and no Republican in the House of Representatives voted for it and no Republican in the US Senate voted for it, either.

WTAE even drew up a "how they voted" list.  In Pennsylvania, no GOP support for this bill at all - not even from Doug's Insurgency Subpoena Buddy, Representative Scott Perry.

That's where Mastriano and Robinson are looking to get the funding for bill - from legislation that gained absolutely no GOP support in Congress.

Why isn't St Sen (and failed GOP cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano telling any of this to his constituents?

I thought he valued transparency.

I guess not.

December 14, 2022

Respect of Marriage Act - Signed Into Law

By signing the Respect for Marriage Act, President Biden repealed this:

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

And replaced it with this:

For the purposes of any Federal law, rule, or regulation in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is between 2 individuals and is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is between 2 individuals and is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State. 

As well it should be.

And here's a reminder of the bullet we dodged here in Pennsylvania, thanks to nearly 800,000 voters:

The hosts asked Mastrianio if gay marriage should be legal. “Absolutely not,” he answered, citing the Old Testament. “I’m for traditional marriage. And I am not a hater for saying that. It’s been like that for 6,000 years,” he said, invoking the Bible: “It was the first institution founded by God in Genesis, and it needs to stay that way.”

The hosts also asked Mastriano if same-sex couples should be able to adopt children. “No,” he replied. And Mastriano was even more adamant when asked whether gender identity should be added to the nation’s anti-discrimination laws. “Absolutely not,” he insisted. “That’s madness.”

Yes, you are a hater for saying that Doug. Yes you are.

BTW, did you catch that biblical dog-whistle? This is what I heard:

It's very subtle, what Doug's giving away here. Not sure if you caught it. Here's a hint: 6,000 years is a very specific number especially since the first recorded marriage is only about 4,300 years ago.

"6,000" and the part about how it's an institution founded by God in Genesis are actually rhetorical dog-whistles. Leading to the realization that given Doug's very public affirmations of his religious belief, it's not too far afield to say that Doug's cosmogony can be described this way:

Creationism in this more restricted sense entails a number of beliefs. These include, first, that a short time has elapsed since the beginning of everything. ‘Young Earth Creationists’ think that Archbishop Ussher’s sixteenth-century calculation of about 6000 years is a good estimate.
That's the near silent dog-whistle Doug communicated to his listeners.

Imagine that sitting in the Governor's mansion.

December 13, 2022

Talking Points Memo Has Meadows' Texts: I Have Some Questions

For those not following the story, Talking Points Memo just published this.

This is from the series' introduction:

TPM has obtained the 2,319 text messages that Mark Meadows, who was President Trump’s last White House chief of staff, turned over to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. Today, we are publishing The Meadows Texts, a series based on an in-depth analysis of these extraordinary — and disturbing — communications. 

The vast majority of Meadows’ texts described in this series are being made public for the very first time. They show the senior-most official in the Trump White House communicating with members of Congress, state-level politicians, and far-right activists as they work feverishly to overturn Trump’s loss in the 2020 election. The Meadows texts illustrate in moment-to-moment detail an authoritarian effort to undermine the will of the people and upend the American democratic system as we know it.

And wouldn't you know it but Pennsylvania shows up in the series. 

You might want to read how - it's an entire piece focusing on Meadows' communications with Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).

We've written about Scott before.

Needless to say, I have a few questions for the good folks at Talking Points Memo.

It's not that I disagree with anything they've published, I'm just looking for them to fill in some blanks, as it were.

Like here:

As time went on, Perry appeared to become increasingly consumed by conspiracy theories related to the election. On the morning of Nov. 12, he sent a flurry of messages to Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Perry’s download to the pair began with a rambling 501-word, six-part strategy for challenging the vote in Pennsylvania that Perry said he was forwarding from a legislator in the state. Perry described the missive as a “a reasonable assessment,” but it was filled with easily debunked election delusions.

“People think Dominion software was hacked,” the lengthy text said, referencing a voting machine company that was central to many 2020 conspiracies.

Ok, so which legislator in Pennsylvania? 

Then there's this:

One week later, on Nov. 19, Perry let Meadows know he was working with “Rudy’s folks in Philly,” an apparent reference to the legal effort being run by Trump’s personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Over the next few days, Perry communicated with Meadows about connecting Pennsylvania lawmakers both with “Rudy’s folks” and Trump. Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Again, with which Pennsylvania lawmakers did Perry want to connect "Rudy's folks" and Trump with that Thursday, November 19.

This is the text:

Thanks for doing that. Talking with Rudy’s folks in Philly, they want the PA legislative leaders invited ASAP for Sunday or Monday. They are in all day tomorrow passing the budget so that’s out. Let me know if you want to discuss it.

Sunday and Monday would be November 22 and 23. 

Scott also added:

The call will have to come from The White House.

One day later on Tuesday, November 24, this happened

At the request of Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York), the Senate Majority Policy Committee is holding a public hearing Wednesday to discuss 2020 election issues and irregularities. The hearing will feature former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

And then this happened:

President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election stretched into a more desperate phase on Wednesday as he phoned into a conspiratorial public hearing on voter fraud headlined by Rudy Giuliani and Republicans in Gettysburg, Pa.

The remarks from the president came virtually, as Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis — seated beside Giuliani in a Wyndham hotel ballroom — raised her phone to the microphone at their witness table, allowing Trump to participate in the hearing from the Oval Office.

Wednesday, November 25 2020.

From Reuters we have:

Three weeks after the election, Giuliani and his associates pushed a new strategy: attempting to persuade conservative state legislatures to simply disregard the election results and declare Trump the winner of their states’ Electoral College votes. The Constitution, Trump’s team argued, granted this power.

With Pennsylvania a focus, Flynn dispatched Waldron to a state Senate hearing held by Republican lawmakers there.

For decades, Waldron had operated behind the scenes. So, he told Reuters, in November 2020 he initially resisted going public with his findings. But he said Flynn and Giuliani pressed him to testify about stolen votes. “Rudy’s team had asked me three times.”

On November 25, wearing a blue jacket, blue shirt, striped tie and blue COVID mask, Waldron appeared in person at the Pennsylvania Senate hearing to air his fraud claims. He cited his military credentials. “I’m a retired Army colonel, 30 years,” he said. Then he claimed all the voting machine technology in the United States could be hacked.

This could very easily be a convergence of convenient events with each side arriving at the same point (Mastriano's hearing on November 25) from separate independent points.

Blanks to be filled in.

Any comments, Senator Mastriano? You were there. Surely you can enlighten us.

December 12, 2022

Right Wing Projection. Two Recent Examples (Wendy Bell and Doug Mastriano)

From The Bulwark:

The Republican party has transformed projection from a psychological phenomenon into a political strategy. In a clinical setting, projection—accusing others of one’s own flaws—is an uncontrollable behavior. While that may be true of Donald Trump (Lord knows he presents as a compelling case for psychoanalysis), it is not true for his loyal minions. For them it is a conscious effort to stuff reality down the memory hole.

Recently, two Pennsylvania right wing nut jobs did it.

We'll go alphabetically by last name.

First, there's Wendy Bell:

Her whole argument, such as it is, hinges on one phrase "...voted to certify without investigating the mountains of evidence of fraud."

Um, Wendy? Trump's own AG, William Barr investigated and found nothing:

That was broadcast in late June, 2021.

Didja miss it, Wendy? Your whole position rests on a lie you continue to spread.

Wendy is correct in one way, however. Remove the projection and tweak the text into:

Any lawmaker [who participated in Trump's attempted coup] not only created a national emergency, they violated their oath of office and should be removed and prevented from ever serving again.

There. Fixed it. 

But this leads us directly to our next right wing nut job projector: St Sen (and failed GOP cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano. He participated in Trump's attempted coup and he betrayed this oath of office:

I do solemnly swear 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.

He should be removed from office and prevented from ever serving again.

But his projection wasn't about the big lie. It was this:


No, Doug. That would be Donald Trump. Trump lied and people died.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic in a February interview with journalist Bob Woodward and acknowledged downplaying the threat in an interview a month later, according to an account of Woodward's new book.

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic," Trump said in a March 19 call with Woodward, according to an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Post's website. The newspaper obtained a copy of the book, "Rage," which is scheduled to be released next week.

In the same interview, Trump acknowledged that the disease was more deadly than he previously thought.

Donald Trump lied to the American people about the virus and lots and lots of people died.

And Doug? Your friend Wendy Bell did the same.

I would like to say that the two of you, Doug and Wendy - Wendy and Doug) should be ashamed of yourselves but we all know that neither of you, if the readily available public evidence has any validity, have shown any ability to feel any shame or remorse about your actions in any way, shape or form.


December 7, 2022

Allegheny County - IN THE NEWS!

By now we all know that Warnock beat Walker yesterday.

The Democrats now have a 51-49 advantage in The Senate and (perhaps more importantly) another of Donald Trump's endorsed candidates lost.

But do you also know that this happened yesterday? 

Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania, asking for communications with or involving former President Donald Trump, his campaign aides and a list of allies involved in his efforts to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The requests, issued to Milwaukee and Dane counties in Wisconsin; Wayne County, Michigan; Maricopa County, Arizona; and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, are the first known subpoenas by Smith, who was named special counsel last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The subpoenas, first reported by The Washington Post, are the clearest indication yet that Smith’s work will include an examination of the fake electors that were part of Trump’s efforts to subvert the election count and certification.

Fake electors, huh? You know what that means, right?

As they organized the fake elector scheme, lawyers appointed a “point person” in seven states to help organize those electors who were willing to sign their names to false documents. In Pennsylvania, that point person was Douglas V. Mastriano, a proponent of Mr. Trump’s lies of a stolen election who is now the Republican nominee for governor.

But even Mr. Mastriano needed assurances to go along with a plan other Republicans were telling him was “illegal,” according to a Dec. 12 email sent by Ms. Bobb that also referred to Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City.

“Mastriano needs a call from the mayor. This needs to be done. Talk to him about legalities of what they are doing,” she wrote, adding: “Electors want to be reassured that the process is * legal * essential for greater strategy.”

We'll be watching to see how this plays out.

The Washington Post broke the story though they don't mention Allegheny County. And you can see a copy of one of the subpoenas here.

On the last page a number of individuals are listed.

  1. Kenneth Chesebro 
  2. Justin Clark 
  3. Joe DiGenova 
  4. John Eastman 
  5. Jenna Ellis 
  6. Boris Epshteyn 
  7. Rudolph Giuliani 
  8. Bemard Kerik 
  9. Bruce Marks 
  10. Cleta Mitchell
  11. Matthew Morgan 
  12. Kurt Olsen 
  13. William Olson 
  14. Stefan Passantino 
  15. Sidney Powell 
  16. William “Bill” Stepien 
  17. Victoria Toensing, 
  18. James Troupis
  19. L. Lin Wood, Jr.

They're looking for any and all communications to and from the people on that list.

How many are tied to Doug Mastriano?

We already know that Giuliani and Ellis testified at that "hearing" Doug held in November, 2020. And Jenna Ellis went on to work in Mastriano's (failed) gubernatorial campaign.

Politico reported this some time ago:

As Donald Trump struggled to remain in power in late 2020, an anchor for a far-right TV network briefed a group of the president’s lawyers in detail on a plot to mobilize so-called alternate pro-Trump electors, according to an email reviewed by POLITICO.

On Dec. 13, 2020, the day before electors gathered to cast their states’ presidential votes as required by law, Christina Bobb of One America News emailed several Trump campaign aides and allies to discuss arrangements for the false electors. Teeing up those pro-Trump electors to represent states that Joe Biden won in 2020 was a linchpin of Trump’s efforts to challenge his loss.


Bobb’s email indicates that a Trump campaign official spoke with teams around the country focused on the effort, then reported to her on those talks. She then sent his update to multiple lawyers working for and with Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, senior campaign official and attorney Boris Epshteyn, Jenna Ellis, Joe diGenova, and Victoria Toensing.


In Pennsylvania, Bobb wrote, Trump’s team was waiting to hear from the office of state Sen. Doug Mastriano — now Republicans’ nominee in the state’s gubernatorial contest — to get a room for the alternate electors.


Even if St Sen Doug Mastriano isn't subpoenaed by the special council, how many of the many many documents he'll be sure to collect will mention Doug Mastriano in one way or another?

I am sure Doug is wondering this right now.

Wherever you look in Trump's plan, if it pertains to Pennsylvania, there's a link to Doug Mastriano.


December 6, 2022

Oh, Doug. You Simply Must Do Better On Your Homework!

PA State Sen (and failed GOP cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano retweeted this:

Had he done any research, he would have found this. The image is a fake. Time even said so.

Here's what the original cover looked like:

It's Doug spreading the climate misinformation about how scientists in the 1970s were all afraid of a "coming ice age."

It's all a lie.

We wrote about this a few years ago:

Was there a consensus among scientists 40 years ago that the world was cooling?  Everything weighs on the answer to that question.  If there was then we have to ascertain how they reached that conclusion and why it differs so much from the current consensus.  So was there a consensus 40 years ago among scientists about the earth cooling?

Turns out the answer is no.

In 2008, the American Meteorological Society published a paper, titled, "The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus" that begins with this:

A review of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979 shows this myth to be false. The myth’s basis lies in a selective misreading of the texts both by some members of the media at the time and by some observers today. In fact, emphasis on greenhouse warming dominated the scientific literature even then. [Emphasis added.]

Ah the joys of a long-lived blog.

You're lying about the climate science, Doug.

December 5, 2022

Ok, State Sen. Mastriano - What Say You?

What say you to this:

(h/t to The Bullwark for the jpg)

For those out of touch (for one reason or anther) with the news this past weekend, Trump's argument, it seems, is built on this:

It was billed as a bombshell: Elon Musk, after rifling through his new company’s internal files, would finally expose how Twitter engaged in “free speech suppression” in the critical run up to the 2020 election.

Too bad this is what happened:

But by the time the dust settled Saturday, even some conservatives were grumbling that it was a dud. Musk’s Twitter Files produced no smoking gun showing that the tech giant had bent to the will of Democrats.

The Washington Post had some more details:

The Twitter thread, based on internal communications posted by Substack writer Matt Taibbi, showed the company independently decided to limit the spread of the article, without Democratic politicians, the Biden campaign or FBI exerting control over the social media network. In fact, the only input from a sitting politician that Taibbi noted was from Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna (D), who told Twitter executives they should distribute the story, regardless of the potential consequences for his party.
And THAT'S what set off Trump and his MAGA-mob.

Too bad reality doesn't mesh with their narrative.

Meanwhile our very own failed MAGA/QAnon/GOP candidate for PA Gov, State Senator Doug Mastriano tweeted this early this morning: 

Doug, despite with a PhD in History, failed to correct Woods: Nixon's henchmen did a whole lot more than what Woods tweeted. There was that whole "breaking and entering" thing at the Watergate, for one.
Then there was the whole cover-up afterwards.

Isn't that right, PhD Doug?

And Nixon himself was facing impeachment on a whole lot more; Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of Power, and Contempt of Congress.

Isn't that right, Perfesser Duggie?

In case Doug pleads the 5th on those questions. The answer is "yes" on both.

This is the oath that State Senator Doug Mastriano took when he became State Senator:

I do solemnly swear 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.

And yet he sides with the guy who wants to terminate the Constitution because it stopped him from overturning the election he lost. 

He does not deserve to sit any longer in the Pennsylvania legislature. He should resign.

He won't, of course. But he should.

What say you, Doug?