The top Republican in Pennsylvania’s Senate said Monday that hearings will begin this week as he committed to carrying out a “full forensic investigation” of the state’s 2020 presidential election.
Amid clashes over how to conduct it and how to pay for it, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, removed on Friday Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, who had been the figurehead in the push for an Arizona-style audit of Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election.
Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, will instead begin holding hearings this week, Corman said.
Both Dush and Mastriano visited the Arizona arena where the audit was being conducted to learn more about it. After the visit, Dush said in a Facebook Live video that it’s incumbent on people in elected positions to ensure corrective action is taken to prevent any irregularities from happening in the future.
Corman said in an interview Monday he has communicated with former President Donald Trump about the pursuit of audits, reviews or other examinations of ballots and voting machines. He did not say when that happened but had told 6 News as recently as last month that he had not communicated with the ex-president since before the November election.
“I think he’s comfortable with where we’re heading and so we’re going to continue that work,” Corman said on the conservative Wendy Bell Radio program streamed online Monday.
One other question Corman’s office has been unable to answer is how Pennsylvania’s Senate Republicans will pay for an Arizona-style audit without private donations.
Senate GOP officials are concerned about the legality of funding the undertaking with private money, Corman’s office said.
But in Arizona, Trump backers reported raising more than $5.7 million for the widely discredited and partisan election audit sponsored by Senate Republicans there.
The private company conducting the audit, Cyber Ninjas, did not submit a full report of its findings by Monday’s original deadline, in part due to its CEO and two others testing positive for Covid, said the state Republicans who hired the firm.