Doug Mastriano, a Trump Republican in Pennsylvania, says 2020 ‘audit’ efforts have been thwarted: ‘Our cause is weakened and diminished’

FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2020, file photo, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, attends a hearing of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee in Gettysburg, Pa. Mastriano, who has talked of possibly running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022, said Wednesday, May 19, 2021, that former President Donald Trump asked him to run and promised to campaign for him.
  • Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump.
  • Earlier this year, he traveled to Arizona to observe the "audit" being conducted by Cyber Ninjas.
  • He has been trying to bring a "forensic audit" to Pennsylvania but said he's been thwarted.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

An ally of former President Donald Trump who has been trying to bring an Arizona-style "forensic audit" to Pennsylvania says he's been thwarted by "the powers that be."

Earlier this summer, Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano sent letters to three Pennsylvania counties demanding materials related to the 2020 election. That came after the lawmaker endorsed a campaign led by QAnon conspiracy theorists to pursue a statewide "audit" over claims that China rigged the election for President Joe Biden - a campaign thus far rejected by Pennsylvania's GOP leaders.

Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes in what state and national officials, including those who worked for the Trump administration, described as an election that was "the most secure in American history."

In a video streamed on Facebook, Mastriano indicated Thursday that Republican leaders were standing in the way of his go-it-alone audit and blocking him from issuing subpoenas to elections officials in York, Philadelphia, and Tioga counties, all of whom have refused to comply with his previous requests. Local radio station WHYY suggested he needs quorum for his committee to meet.

"The powers that be made sure that didn't happen," Mastriano said in the video, as reported by the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Mastriano is chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, which has subpoena power but does not oversee elections, the newspaper noted.

"I would say we're not in a very good spot right now," the lawmaker said in the video, which has since been deleted. "I put my name out there to get it done and I've been stopped for the time being."

Mastriano - who paid for buses to bring protesters to Washington, DC, on January 6 - added that he had "burned a lot of bridges," but also asserted that this latest obstacle was only a "momentary impediment."

Mastriano also claimed he had been the victim of "betrayal" from the leaders of the Audit the Vote PA, the group that has sought a statewide review, the Capital-Star reported. Its founders have promoted conspiracy theories such as PizzaGate, falsely accusing Democrats of running pedophile rings.

"I've warned these ladies - don't let it get to your head. Watch out for pride. Remember those who helped you get there," he said.

The cause, at least for now, "is weakened and diminished," he said.

The senator did not respond to a request for comment.

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