Almost 10 months after the presidential election, the Pennsylvania Senate will open hearings this week as it launches a “forensic investigation,” the top Republican senator said Monday.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R., Centre) said lawmakers will seek voting records, ballots, and machines — and suggested the Senate will use subpoenas to get them.
“We can bring people in. We can put them under oath. We can subpoena records, and that’s what we need to do,” he said in an interview with the pro-Trump radio personality Wendy Bell. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
Corman said he has spoken with former President Donald Trump about the issue: “I think he’s comfortable where we’re heading.”
The development came days after Corman ousted fellow GOP Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin) as the leader in Harrisburg of the push for an Arizona-style “audit” of the 2020 election, saying Mastriano was more interested in “grandstanding” than in getting results. Corman installed Sen. Cris Dush (R., Jefferson) as the new chairman of the committee that will lead the review.
Corman, who was first elected to the Senate in 1998, has long been seen as a steady hand and protector of the legislative institution. In a matter of days, he has gone from mostly keeping quiet about Trump supporters’ demands for an Arizona-style “forensic investigation” into President Joe Biden’s victory to plunging full steam ahead into baseless election fraud claims.
Corman is up for reelection next year, and perceived disloyalty to Trump could invite a primary challenge. In late 2020, Corman announced he was forming a Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform. It held hearings this year and recommended changes to state law. Two other committees in the legislature also reviewed Pennsylvania’s election system this year.
That hasn’t stopped Trump and some of his most vocal supporters — including Mastriano, a likely candidate for governor next year — from demanding an “audit.”