Democrats say Doug Mastriano breached police lines during Jan. 6 insurrection and should release video to prove otherwise
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Democrats are calling on the Republican candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, to come clean on his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
As political editor Jon Delano reports, Democrat Josh Shapiro says Mastriano was more than just an innocent bystander.
From the get-go, state Sen. Mastriano was one of the state's strongest advocates that the 2020 election in Pennsylvania was stolen from former President Trump. He chartered buses to take Pennsylvanians to the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6.
Following Trump's speech, Mastriano and his wife joined the crowd, walking to the U.S. Capitol.
Attorney General Shapiro says while he was trying to protect every Pennsylvanian's vote, Mastriano was undermining it.
"I was preparing to go to court to defend our democracy, when he, my opponent, was at the Capitol on January 6. And understand this, folks, he was not a passive observer," Shapiro told supporters at a recent event in Columbia County.
Shapiro said Mastriano ignored police orders and breached the barriers erected around the capitol.
"You know what the would-be governor did? He didn't listen to law enforcement. He sided with the mob and he marched to the Capitol, right to the steps," said Shapiro.
"He said that he did not cross police lines, the police set up lines. They said don't cross them. He crossed by them and then lied about it to Pennsylvanians," says Sam Newton, deputy communications director with the Democratic Governors Association.
In a statement on Jan. 6, 2021, Mastriano denied that, insisting, "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. At no point did we enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps or go beyond police lines."
Newton says while there's no evidence that Mastriano himself tore down barriers, others near him did, and he advanced forward to the base of the Capitol steps.
Mastriano has denied that, too, saying, "I followed the directions of the Capitol police and respected all police lines as I came upon them. Even disingenuous internet sleuths know that police lines did shift throughout the course of the day. I followed those lines as they existed."
"This just sounds like a bunch of excuses from an extremist who wants to hide and lie about his involvement," says Newton.
Newton says that the best way for Mastriano to prove that he was not part of the insurrection is for Mastriano to release the video he took on that day.
"The other month, more footage came out showing Doug Mastriano was there, holding a cell phone and clearly taking footage. So, we're calling on Doug Mastriano to release his tapes outside the Capitol," says Newton.
KDKA-TV reached out to the Mastriano campaign but so far no response.
Mastriano did respond to a subpoena from the Jan. 6th Committee, which asked for "communications relating in any way to protests, marches, public assemblies, rallies or speeches in Washington DC on or about January 6, 2021."
It's not clear whether that included Mastriano's videos from that day.
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