GOP PA governor candidate Doug Mastriano appeared before the Jan. 6 committee. Why he said nothing
Doug Mastriano has shut down his interview with the House Jan. 6 Committee.
The Republican state senator and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate abruptly ended a meeting Tuesday morning after committee members refused to agree to his terms, according to The New York Times. Mastriano attorney Tim Parlatore said in an interview Tuesday his client had requested either a copy of the proposed interview's transcript, a recording of the interview, an agreement to release the entire interview immediately afterward or to hold off on the deposition until after the general election.
Parlatore — who has also represented former New York City Police Chief Bernard Kerik and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline in the Jan. 6 proceedings — said he and Mastriano have concerns about his substantive rights as a witness. He said Jan. 6 committee members have in the past put out deceptively edited interview snippets to mislead the public.
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"This committee has already demonstrated that they will take clips of these interviews and release them without the proper context to create a false narrative," Parlatore said in an interview with the USA Today Network a few hours before the meeting.
"When you put out those tiny little clips like that without the rest of the context, it puts out a false impression. All I wanted was to get some prophylactic, some assurance that they won't do what they did before."
A call to the House Jan. 6 Committee was not immediately returned.
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Mastriano and his chief adviser Jenna Ellis are among more than 100 individuals who have been subpoenaed as part of a Democratic-led House probe into the events of Jan. 6, 2020. Ellis is a former senior adviser and counsel to former President Donald Trump who reportedly prepared and circulated two memos about analyzing the constitutional authority for the vice president to reject or delay counting of Electoral College votes from states that had submitted alternate slates of electors.
Mastriano has been accused of arranging for an “alternate” slate of electors from Pennsylvania to cast their votes for Trump in spite of the election results.
According to Parlatore, Mastriano has already cooperated with the House Jan. 6 Committee by providing all requested documentation. He said he wants reasonable assurance that the public will be given access to the interview in its entirety, and claims he would even agree to a media livestream broadcast.
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"(Mastriano's) given them everything they've requested and he's happy to answer their questions. The only concern we have is over their deceptive editing," Parlatore said.
Failure to comply with committee requests has not been without consequence to Trump allies, including former aide Steve Bannon, who was convicted of contempt of Congress last month for his refusal to testify and hand over documents.
Parlatore said he has no such worry for Mastriano. He added that he thinks committee members should be "investigated for unethical violations and extortion" if they seek a contempt referral in this case.
"This is not about fear of answering questions at all," Parlatore said.
Bruce Siwy is a reporter for the USA Today Network's Pennsylvania state capital bureau. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @BruceSiwy.