Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has filed a lawsuit against the January 6 Committee.
Mastriano filed his lawsuit on Thursday afternoon in federal court. He was subpoenaed in February over alleged involvement in an alternate electors plan.
In his lawsuit, Mastriano points out that edited clips from interviews could be used to “improperly influence the midterm elections.”
The 21 page lawsuit also argues that the committee cannot compel depositions because they do not have any members designated by the Republican Party to represent them.
“Central to this issue is the fact that this Committee lacks a Ranking Minority Member, or any members designated by the minority party,” the lawsuit, which was obtained by Politico, says. “Although Courts have previously held that, despite this defect, the Committee has the power to issue subpoenas, no Court has ever examined the issue of whether this particular Committee is able to comply with the Deposition Regulations which explicitly require certain actions to be taken by the Ranking Minority Member.”
The complaint explains that this “issue is distinguishable from prior litigation which dealt with the Committee’s formation and its ability comply with the procedures for the issuance of subpoenas, which do not implicate any substantive rights of the witnesses. The notice requirement being litigated in those cases was the required consultation with the Ranking Minority Member before issuing a subpoena – a requirement that is designed to protect the committee members and ensure that the minority is informed of the actions taken by the majority. However, that requirement does not implicate any substantive rights of the witnesses because the notice provides no avenue for the minority to block or otherwise challenge the issuance of the subpoena.”
The suit adds that the lack of a “Ranking Minority Member or minority party representation does impact the substantive rights of the witness and, therefore, must be examined differently than prior litigation.”
“Due to the secretive nature of deposition proceedings, the Regulations rely upon the two party system to create an adversarial proceeding to protect the substantive rights of witnesses in the absence of a judge or public scrutiny,” the suit continues. “When, as here, a committee lacks any meaningful representation by the minority party, this fundamental purpose is frustrated, and the Regulations cannot be complied with by the Committee.”
The gubernatorial candidate pointed out that outgoing Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger do not count because they “follow ideologies that are inconsistent with their own party, instead choosing to pursue the priorities of the Democratic Caucus.”
Mastriano is asking the judge to rule that he cannot be forced to sit for a deposition and to be awarded legal fees from the panel.