Mastriano threatens to renege on testifying to Jan. 6 panel


Mastriano is an ally of former President Donald Trump and supported his post-election efforts to contest the 2020 ends in Pennsylvania. Trump and legal professional Rudy Giuliani each later backed Mastriano within the aggressive Republican gubernatorial main.

The choose committee subpoenaed him for paperwork and testimony on Feb. 15. Three months later, on Might 17, he gained the Republican main. And only a few weeks after that, he produced a tranche of documents to the panel. On the time, Mastriano’s lawyer advised POLITICO that he and the committee had agreed the candidate would sit for a voluntary interview as a substitute of a compelled deposition.

However within the three months since then, the scenario appears to have modified. Parlatore, the lawyer, opened his letter by noting that the committee is “now demanding” that Mastriano sit for a compelled deposition, fairly than a voluntary interview.

He argued that the choose panel can not maintain compelled depositions as a result of the foundations governing it require the involvement of a rating member appointed by the minority occasion — and none of Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy’s picks are seated. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is the vice chair of the panel, however she was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In contrast to different litigants, Parlatore didn’t argue that the committee was illegitimate or incapable of issuing lawful subpoenas. Reasonably, he particularly regarded on the slender and technical situation of whether or not depositions can start given the committee’s composition. Different authorized challenges to committee subpoenas have all failed.

Parlatore asserted in his letter that this identical argument resulted within the committee agreeing to have one other shopper of his, Giuliani ally Bernie Kerik, sit for a voluntary interview as a substitute of a compelled deposition.

Parlatore charged the committee with “a demonstrated propensity for releasing edited clips of interviews with out the requisite context to help a false partisan narrative,” and mentioned he fearful they may do the identical to Mastriano. As an answer, he instructed that he additionally file the session himself and solely launch parts if the panel launched clips “that require further context, in order to not mislead the voters in Pennsylvania.”

Parlatore concluded the letter by elevating the prospect of a authorized combat.

“If we can not agree on an inexpensive association for a voluntary interview, then we may have little selection however to go to court docket and litigate this situation,” he wrote.

A spokesperson for the choose committee declined to remark.

Parlatore advised POLITICO that Mastriano is fearful about the best way video clips from the interview could possibly be edited.

“Senator Mastriano has nothing to cover and is comfortable to reply the committee’s questions, however is worried that by misleading modifying, the committee may try to affect the end result of the 2022 Pennsylvania state election by the dissemination of disinformation,” he mentioned in an announcement. “So long as we are able to comply with prophylactic measures to stop such an prevalence, he’s comfortable to proceed with the voluntary interview.”

Civil litigation associated to congressional proceedings can take years, as was the case when Trump White Home Counsel Don McGahn resisted publicly testifying concerning the Russia probe. The Jan. 6 committee, in the meantime, has been aggressive in referring uncooperative witnesses to the Justice Division, although prosecutors have solely introduced prices based mostly on a few of these referrals. They’ve notably declined to cost Trump’s White Home chief of workers Mark Meadows and shut senior aide Dan Scavino.

Choose committee investigators have said Mastriano participated in efforts to recruit so-called alternate electors in Pennsylvania who would decide to voting for Trump within the electoral school although Biden gained the state. Mastriano was additionally in the crowd outdoors the Capitol on Jan. 6 because the mob grew to become more and more violent and compelled its means into the constructing.

FiveThirtyEight’s polling average reveals Mastriano’s Democratic opponent, state Legal professional Normal Josh Shapiro, main him within the race by about eight factors.


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