Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, is suing the House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot — accusing the panel of violating the chamber’s rules.
Mastriano, a state senator endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is challenging the committee’s authority to conduct compelled depositions under current House rules. His lawsuit, filed Thursday in DC federal court, names the committee, its nine members, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as defendants.
“Doug Mastriano will not fall prey to the unlawful intimidation tactics employed by the January 6 Committee,” Timothy C. Parlatore, an attorney for Mastriano, said in a statement.
“Throughout the course of this investigation, Doug Mastriano has always been fully open, cooperative, and transparent with law enforcement, including the FBI,” Parlatore added. “Regrettably, the Committee has chosen to violate the rules of the House of Representatives by demanding a compelled deposition – a move that we must challenge in court.”
The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Mastriano in February for documents and testimony. Mastriano provided documents to the committee but refused to sit for a taped deposition. His lawyer requested that the committee allow the state legislator to instead provide his own recording of a voluntary interview, which the committee refused, leading to the lawsuit.
The suit claims that Mastriano’s testimony could be deceptively edited, influencing voters as he vies for Pennsylvania’s governorship.
Mastriano is asking a federal judge to rule that the committee cannot force him to be deposed and for the panel to pay his attorney’s fees.
Mastriano was reportedly questioned by the FBI in the summer of 2021 after photographs of him on the Capitol grounds during Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally surfaced. He has not been charged by the Department of Justice in connection with the riot.
Mastriano is running against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the Keystone State’s gubernatorial race.
A FiveThirtyEight average of polls shows Mastriano trailing Shapiro by about 7 percentage points.