Republican Senators In Pennsylvania Briefed On 2020 Election Audit Plan
Republican senators in Pennsylvania were briefed on a plan for an audit of the 2020 election.
The private briefing, conducted by state Sen. Doug Mastriano on Wednesday, is the clearest sign yet that lawmakers in the Keystone State are serious about fulfilling the wishes of former President Donald Trump and his supporters who are pressing for copycats of a controversial audit in Arizona.
Mastriano even obtained legal advice from a Philadelphia-based law firm about the GOP caucus using private money to pay for consultants and lawyers.
“While we cannot predict how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would decide the issue, in our opinion, to a reasonable degree of legal certainty, Pennsylvania law does not prohibit the Caucus or Committee from accepting or benefiting from such financial support,” lawyer Bruce Marks wrote in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press.
Mastriano, the chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, was one of the Republican lawmakers from the Keystone State to tour Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, the location of the GOP-led Arizona Senate’s audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election, which is being partially funded by private donors to supplement the $150,000 payment made by Senate Republicans.
Pennsylvania and Arizona are two states won by President Joe Biden last year that post-election audits showed no widespread fraud. But after dozens of lawsuits with election fraud allegations and voting irregularities were rejected by courts around the country, the partisan audit in Maricopa County became a beacon of hope for Trump and his allies who claim the contest was stolen.
Similar to the Maricopa County audit, a legislature-backed review in Pennsylvania is expected to focus on specific jurisdictions and would likely employ the use of subpoenas to obtain election materials and data. Opposition from Democrats, the minority party in the state Senate, and legal fights are distinct possibilities.
State Sen. David Argall, who heads a committee that oversees elections, recently said he favors a forensic audit.
“Do I have 100% confidence … that everything was perfect? No, I’d really like us to take a detailed review of that,” Argall said. “That’s why we’re looking at changing pieces of the election legislation, and it’s also why I think it wouldn’t hurt at all to go back, do that audit, and say, ‘How exactly did that work out?'”
Another Republican senator, Camera Bartolotta, who tuned in to some of Mastriano’s presentation, said there is a high level of interest for an audit in Pennsylvania.
“I don’t know the ins and outs. I don’t know who’s going to pay for an audit. I don’t know how extensive it might be,” Bartolotta said. “I do know that there are millions of Pennsylvanians who have questions and concerns, and there is a lack of trust.”
Author: Daniel Chaitin
Source: Washington Examiner: Republican senators in Pennsylvania briefed on 2020 election audit plan