HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The seeds of doubt in the 2020 election were certainly planted in Pennsylvania as Republicans continue to question the validity of the Biden presidency.
A breach of the U.S. Capitol is still being felt in Pa.’s state capitol. Increased security. Outside groups are no longer allowed to gather inside.
“The insurrection and attempted coup did not start on Jan. 6, it started before Jan. 6,” State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia, Montgomery) said.
Democrats point to a letter by legislative Republicans on Dec. 4, 2020, calling on Pa.’s congressional delegation to hold up certification of the Biden presidency and sowing seeds of doubt about its legitimacy.
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“When we sent that letter to our congressional delegations we had and still have reservations about the way elections were run in the commonwealth,” State Rep. Seth Grove (R) said.
GOP State Senator Doug Mastriano signed the letter and organized bus trips to D.C. on Jan. 6 and his exact role is still unclear. He said he never breached the capitol. Democrats insist photos show that he did. He’s expected to announce a run for governor.
Republican Congressman Scott Perry in the wee hours of Jan. 7 was the first to officially object to certifying Pa.’s vote for Biden. On this one-year anniversary, Mastriano and Perry aren’t commenting. Hughes is. “The Republican party that we historically knew is no longer that. It is a party of insurrectionists,” Hughes said.
Not true says House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, who also signed that letter. He prefers to look forward, not back. “We need to move on as a country. A lot of good things that are occurring and a lot more good work we need to be doing and I think it’s ridiculous that people are living in the past,” Benninghoff said.
But also ridiculous, some Pa. Republicans concede, was the scene one year ago. “It should’ve never happened it was a riot that day it should’ve never happened. Cooler heads should have prevailed during that entire process,” Grove said.
Also important to remember, the state senate is still trying to audit the 2020 election. That case has stalled in the courts.