Trump Ally Just Sued the Jan. 6 Committee

Pennsylvania governor candidate Doug Mastriano says panel can't force him to sit for deposition
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2022 9:35 AM CDT
Trump Ally Just Sued the Jan. 6 Committee
Doug Mastriano is the GOP nominee for governor in Pennsylvania.   (AP Photo/Marc Levy, File)

The Jan. 6 House panel has been hit with a lawsuit from one of its potential witnesses. Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, filed suit in federal court in his home state on Thursday, reports Politico. The staunch supporter of former President Trump argues that the panel lacks the authority to compel him to sit for a deposition. "Central to this issue is the fact that this committee lacks a ranking minority Member, or any members designated by the minority party," the suit reads, per Fox News. (House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy pulled all of his picks for the panel after Democrats rejected his first two.)

Mastriano's lawyers say he fears that a panel made up primarily of Democrats could deceptively edit his videotaped deposition, make it public, and sway the gubernatorial election, per Fox. Last month, Mastriano appeared before the committee virtually but left after about 15 minutes without answering any questions. His lawyers say he has asked to be allowed to make his own recording of any deposition, a request the panel has rejected. A spokesperson for the panel declined to comment on the suit, per the AP.

Mastriano is a state senator who helped organize an effort in Pennsylvania to set up a slate of alternate presidential electors loyal to Trump after the 2020 election, per the AP. He was also outside the US Capitol on the day of the riot, though he did not go into the building itself, notes CNN. The panel subpoenaed him earlier this year, and Mastriano submitted requested documents, but the two sides remain at an impasse over an actual deposition. (Mastriano made headlines last month over an old photo of him in a Confederate uniform.)

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