Pennsylvania Senate president plans election investigation hearings

The top Republican in the Pennsylvania state Senate said Monday he would kick off hearings into the results of the 2020 presidential election, the latest Republican-led investigation into an election that President BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report 21 House Democrats call for removing IRS bank reporting proposal from spending bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Vulnerable House Dems push drug pricing plan MORE won handily.

Senate President Pro Tem Jake Corman (R) said in an interview with conservative radio host Wendy Bell that the legislature was working to blunt potential legal challenges in a process that has already received pushback from even Republican-led county commissions. 

“We’re going to have some hearings this week to start the process,” Corman told Bell. “We can bring people in, we can put them under oath, right, we can subpoena records, and that’s what we need to do, that’s what we’re going to do.”

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Asked whether he would commit to a full forensic audit, akin to the recount happening in Arizona under the Republican Senate there, Corman repeatedly said yes. 

Corman acknowledged that the results show Biden carried the state, though he added he did not have faith in the outcome. 

“I don’t necessarily have faith in the results. I think there were many problems in our election that we need to get to the bottom of,” Corman said. “The results are that he won by 80,000 votes. Now the Senate doesn’t have the authority to change those results. What we have the authority to do is go in and review those results.”

“Clearly, a lot of shenanigans, a lot of things went on in Pennsylvania that were not right, and clearly the people of Pennsylvania do not have confidence in the results, and that is a problem,” he added. 

Corman said the state Senate would seek voting records to investigate whether widespread voter fraud took place, though no evidence of any such fraud has been presented.  

Asked what evidence he had received, Corman did not offer specific examples, though he criticized the state’s decision to allow voters to drop their ballots at drop boxes, something that happened for the first time in Pennsylvania in 2020 and is a regular practice in other states.

Corman said he had been in contact with former President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE, who has pushed Republican legislators to conduct reviews of vote counts in states he lost last November.

As recently as June, Trump castigated Corman by name. In a statement then, Trump accused Corman of “fighting as though he were a Radical Left Democrat” in opposing the forensic audit.

Corman last week ousted Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) as the head of an effort to review the 2020 election results. Mastriano, widely seen as a potential candidate for governor next year, has been Trump’s closest ally in the state. He accused “the powers that be” — an apparent reference to Corman — from stopping his investigation. 

Corman said Mastriano had been grandstanding rather than getting a true investigation under way. He said he was concerned that the state Supreme Court, controlled by Democrats, would be eager to shut down any potential investigation if the Senate did not take every legal precaution necessary. 

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“We’ve already had people threatening to shut us down legally. We have a Democrat Supreme Court that is just dying to shut us down,” Corman told Bell. “We have to make sure legally we’re in the right spot so we can absorb a challenge.” 

Corman said he had spoken to top Arizona Senate Republicans, who launched a count of almost 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, home of Phoenix and the majority of Arizona’s registered voters. Biden became the first Democrat to carry Arizona since former President Clinton, on the strength of his 45,000-vote margin in Maricopa County. 

The first draft of the Arizona audit was expected to be released this week. But state Senate President Karen Fann (R) said Monday that the report would be delayed because Doug Logan, the chief executive of the firm hired to oversee the audit, and two other top audit officials had come down with the coronavirus. 

In a statement Monday, Fann said the three were “quite sick.”