The New York Times reported today that Doug Mastriano, Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, was appointed a “point person” by lawyers organizing the fake elector scheme.
The Times reviewed previously undisclosed emails among advisers, campaign officials and associates to former President Donald Trump that provided a glimpse into the efforts of those trying to reverse Trump’s election defeat.
One focus of the emails was an effort to assemble lists of people who would claim to be Electoral College electors on Trump’s behalf in seven battleground states where he suffered defeats.
The lawyers involved made clear that they knew that a pro-Trump elector scheme may not stand on legal grounds. And the internal messages shared among the group shows that the key to the strategy was to create a reason for former Vice President Mike Pence to block or delay the certification of the Electoral College results on Jan. 6.
“Our strategy, which we believe is replicable in all 6 contested states, is for the electors to meet and vote so that an interim decision by a Court to certify Trump the winner can be executed on by the Court ordering the Governor to issue whatever is required to name the electors,” wrote James Troupis. “The key nationally would be for all six states to do it so the election remains in doubt until January.”
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has produced evidence that Trump was aware of the electors plan. Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said in a deposition to the panel that Trump had called her and put John Eastman on the phone “to talk about the importance of the R.N.C. helping the campaign gather these contingent electors.”
As they organized the fake elector scheme, lawyers appointed a “point person” in seven states to help organize those electors who were willing to sign their names to false documents. In Pennsylvania, that point person was Mastriano.
The state senator from Franklin County had some doubts as other Republicans were telling him the plan was “illegal.”
“Mastriano needs a call from the mayor (Rudy Giuliani)” wrote Christina Bobb, in an email on Dec. 12. “This needs to be done. Talk to him about legalities of what they are doing. Electors want to be reassured that the process is * legal * essential for greater strategy.” Bobb worked for One America News Network and now works with Trump’s political action committee.
But Mastriano “had nothing to do with any of this,” said Sam DeMarco, who chairs the Republican Committee of Allegheny County, to WESA in Pittsburgh. “I never saw him, never heard from him. To the best of my knowledge, he was never copied in” during discussions about the effort.”
There has been no comment from the Mastriano camp about the story.