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The Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania used campaign donations to pay for an attorney to represent him on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, records show.

Doug Mastriano, the far-right state senator who is a key figure in the conspiracy movement against the 2020 election, paid “Parlatore” $10,000 for a “legal consultation” on March 3, according to recent filings from campaign finance reviewed by HuffPost. The address listed for Parlatore matches that of a law firm founded by Timothy Parlatore, who represented Mastriano in dealings with the January 6 committee.

The committee subpoena Mastriano in February, looking for documents related to his attempt to send fake voters to Washington to overturn the 2020 election results.

Mastriano’s use of campaign funds to pay Parlatore likely doesn’t violate federal or state campaign finance laws, but it still raises ethical questions. Mastriano previously used his state Senate campaign funds to charter buses to Washington for his supporters to attend the January 6, 2021 rally that turned into an insurrection.

“Any public official using campaign funds to support a coup is doing something unethical, even if it doesn’t necessarily violate the letter of the law,” Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of HuffPost, told HuffPost. Documented, a money in politics watchdog group.

Parlatore told HuffPost in an email that the payment was both legal and ethical.

As Mastriano’s lawyer, he tried to discredit the House committee’s investigation into the historic insurgency, which left several dead and caused more than $30 million in damage.

“It’s just a partisan pre-election stunt,” Parlatore told the committee’s Philadelphia Inquirer after handing over some documents related to the subpoena earlier this month. “Really, they are not interested in getting information from Mastriano. This is a fishing expedition where they hoped he would refuse in order to imply that he had something to hide.

Nonetheless, Parlatore told HuffPost that Mastriano had “fully complied” with the committee’s subpoena.

It remains to be seen what further action the House committee on Jan. 6 might take regarding Mastriano.

Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano won the primary to become the GOP nominee for U.S. Senator.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Mastriano was a major supporter of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump rewarded him with an endorsement in last month’s GOP gubernatorial primary in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. helping to defeat his opponents.

“There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more or fought harder for electoral integrity than State Senator Doug Mastriano,” Trump said in a statement announcing the endorsement. “He exposed the deception, corruption and outright theft of the 2020 presidential election, and will do something about it.”

After President Joe Biden won the key battleground state of Pennsylvania in November 2020 by more than 80,000 votes, Mastriano – citing false allegations of voter fraud – tried to push the state legislature controlled by the Republicans to nullify the results by replacing his voters with Trump loyalists, who would then have declared Trump the winner.

Also in November 2020, Mastriano hosted a state Senate hearing in Gettysburg — part of his district — to push through false allegations of voter fraud. Trump convened the hearing and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s disgraced personal attorney, attended in person. On the same day, Mastriano traveled to the White House to attend a meeting with Trump about the election, but was forced to leave after receiving a positive COVID test.

According to documents submitted in response to the Jan. 6 subpoena, Mastriano spent $3,354 renting buses to send 130 supporters to the ‘Stop The Robbery’ protest that turned into an attack on the Capitol. . Mastriano attended the event himself, but said he and his wife kept their distance from rioters attacking police barricades. A few months later, however, video footage unearthed by online sleuths showed Mastriano much closer to the smash than he had previously claimed.

And just last week, NBC News reported that a newly emerged image showed “Mastriano holding up his cellphone as rioters in front of the crowd confront police on the steps of the Capitol.” The reconstructed timelines indicated that the photo of Mastriano holding his phone was taken around the same time rioters broke through a police line and headed for the Capitol, NBC reported.

“Every day more is being uncovered about Doug Mastriano’s involvement in the deadly January 6 insurgency – including new footage showing Mastriano recording rioters as they attacked law enforcement,” he said Thursday. Sam Newton, spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association. .

“Mastriano’s footage could be important evidence in the Jan. 6 investigation, and it’s further evidence proving Mastriano lied about his involvement and stood with the rioters as they attacked the Capitol. “, added Newton. “It is high time that Mastriano publishes the images and finally confesses his full involvement in the attack on our democracy.”

Pennsylvania GOP candidate used campaign funds for January 6 committee counsel
Mastriano supporters sang at his primary night campaign rally in May.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Parlatore said in his email that Newton’s statement was “inconsistent.”

“I would suggest that Mr. Shapiro and the DGA focus on issues affecting the citizens of Pennsylvania rather than shouting about debunked allegations regarding Senator Mastriano’s involvement in the Jan. 6 riot,” Parlatore wrote, referring to Mastriano’s Democratic opponent, Josh Shapiro, who is currently Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

If successful in November, Mastriano would have alarming power over the state’s electoral process in 2024 — and its coveted 20 electoral votes.

During the election campaign, Mastriano emerged as a key part of the insurgent and anti-democratic Christian nationalist movement, which sees America as a nation created exclusively for Christians and portrays its opponents as instruments of satanic forces.

A USA Today/University of Suffolk survey released this month showed Mastriano trailing Shapiro by just 4 percentage points, a difference in the poll’s margin of error.

The Huffington Gt

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