HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Wednesday, Pa. state Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) urged his constituents to refrain from taking part in rallies and protests leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“Please, do not participate in rallies or protests over the next ten days,” said Mastriano. “Let’s focus on praying for our nation during these troubling times.”
Exactly one week ago, Mastriano himself actively took part in demonstrations at the nation’s capital while lawmakers met to finalize Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
While Mastriano said he left the peaceful demonstrations prior to the outbreak of violence and rioters invading the offices of lawmakers in the U.S. Capitol, many Pennsylvania lawmakers were calling for his resignation.
Some calls to resign referred to Mastriano organizing a bus trip to D.C. to exercise their Constitutional rights, which, in their opinion, ultimately contributed to the chaos.
Specifically, state Representative Brian Sims joined Tim Kearney in denouncing Mastriano’s action, calling them “predictably dangerous.”
Despite state lawmakers disagreeing with Mastriano’s actions, senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman ultimately said no action would be taken regarding Mastriano’s presence in the state Senate.
In addition to his tweet on Wednesday, Mastriano went live on Facebook hours after violence broke out in Washington, D.C., saying “At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines.”
Mastriano’s change in narrative–from one of encouraging peaceful protests to that of refraining from attending rallies whatsoever–starkly contrasts from his original stance regarding President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
For months following the Nov. 3 election, Senator Mastriano questioned the integrity of the presidential race, resulting in Democratic Pa. Senators believing his actions contributed to the violent riots.
In the end, though, Mastriano stated that the outbreak of violence was “unacceptable,” and Biden will be sworn-in as the 46th President of the United States in seven days. Additionally, Mastriano will not lose his seat in the Pa. Senate. Pro Tempore Corman stated that, after speaking with Mastriano last week, “Absent facts to the contrary, the Senate has no cause to act.”
On Wednesday, Senator Mastriano was reappointed as Chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee for the state during the 2021-2022 legislative session.
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