Doug Mastriano is the right-wing extremist that the Pennsylvania Republican Party decided to nominate as its candidate for the state’s governor. An ardent supporter of Donald Trump and the “Big Lie” about a stolen election, Mastriano was seen in the crowd on January 6th on the steps of Congress and was known to have chartered busses to take MAGA fans to Washington D.C. for the “Stop the Steal” rally.
No wonder that the House Select Committee has wanted to question him about his involvement in the insurrection and its planning for some time now.
The Committee’s staffers thought that they would have that opportunity today when Mastriano was scheduled to testify in front of the panel’s inquisitors via a video link.
Their hopes were all for naught, however, as CNN reports that “Mastriano’s virtual appearance Tuesday before the House January 6 committee only lasted about 15 minutes and “he didn’t answer a single question,” according to a source familiar with the matter.”
Tim Parlatore, an attorney for the Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate, interrupted the video questioning before it even began with objections to several procedural issues regarding his client’s deposition as well as with the subpoena used to compel Mastriano’s testimony.
“We were there for 15 minutes. It was clear that the committee was unable to comply with the regulations regarding use of deposition authority and moreover has no interest in complying with the regulations,” Parlatore told CNN. “We’re happy to provide the information if they can either do it fairly and legally or if we can reach a resolution on how to do a voluntary interview which minimizes the risk of election interference.”
The failure of the House Select Committee to get Mastriano to answer their questions was far from unexpected.
To even get to the point where he and his lawyer agreed to a time and virtual place for his deposition took a long struggle over whether Mastriano would be able to record or live stream his testimony. In the end, he wasn’t allowed to do so.
At this point, it’s uncertain whether the House Select Committee will be able to get any information out of Mastriano under its subpoena. The question remains what penalties Mastriano will face for refusing to even invoke his Fifth Amendment rights under congressional inquiry.
At this point, “a spokesperson for the committee declined to comment about Mastriano’s appearance,” according to CNN.
For a Republican Party supposedly committed to a law and order agenda, its members do an awful lot of evading questions about their compliance with the law.