Pennsylvania Republican state senator Doug Mastriano, a staunch Trump supporter, election conspiracy theorist and potential GOP gubernatorial candidate, seems to have lied about the extent of his participation in the January 6th domestic terrorist attack at the Capitol, WHYY Philadelphia reports.
Mastriano spent campaign money to charter two buses to travel to the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the insurrectionist attack. He had previously claimed that he and his wife quickly left the mob when it approached the Capitol. “When it was apparent that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left the area and made our way out of the area,” Mastriano said. “At no point did we enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps, or go beyond police lines.”
New footage uncovered by a crowdsourced investigators using the Twitter hashtag #SeditionHunters, however, shows Mastriano on the Capitol grounds within yards of the Capitol building, well beyond the police lines. Another screenshot shows Mastriano and his wife walking hand-in-hand behind insurrectionists as they push on the police barricades. A third shows Mastriano and his wife preparing to walk through the pushed-aside barricades.
“Even disingenuous internet sleuths know that police lines did shift throughout the course of the day,” a statement from Mastriano’s office reads. “I followed those lines as they existed.”
Mastriano came into the national by hosting a fake state house committee meeting at an off-side hotel to air conspiracy theories from Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. Trump himself made a call into the meeting, with Ellis dutifully holding the phone up to the microphone for the assembled crowd to hear. He also appeared at a number of Trump rallies in Pennsylvania with Trump.