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Pennsylvania Republican unleashes on lawmakers who claim the 2020 election was rigged: 'I stand by my comments'

5 days ago 5

President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.

But most elected Pennsylvania Republicans endorsed false claims that there was widespread fraud. A majority of state Senate Republicans asked Congress not to certify Biden's victory on January 6. See more stories on Insider's business page .

A Pennsylvania Republican is not backing down from his criticism of pro-Trump lawmakers who challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

In a January 15 email obtained by Pennsylvania Spotlight , Bob Ziobrowski, an elected commissioner in Franklin County, chided fellow GOP officials for pushing "bogus" claims of voter fraud.

"Your support of the 'Stop the Steal' efforts helped validate the false narrative that extremist elements of President Trump's supporters used to justify violent actions in Washington on January 6," he wrote. "I am not suggesting you supported the violent actions," he continued, "just that you added 'fuel to the fire' that ultimately broke out."

Forty-eight people from Pennsylvania have been charged with crimes in connection with the January 6 insurrection, according to a database maintained by George Washington University's Program on Extremism.

Ziobrowski told Insider he has not changed his mind in the time since. "I stand by my comments," he said in an email, cc'ing the four lawmakers to whom he had directed the comments, including state Sen. Doug Mastriano. A close ally of the former president, Mastriano organized buses to bring protesters to Washington, DC, on January 6 and was pictured outside the US Capitol when violence erupted.

Along with state Sen. Judy Ward, another recipient, Mastriano pushed for a "forensic audit" of the vote in rural Fulton County, which overwhelmingly went for former President Donald Trump last November. Fulton County Commissioner Stuart Ulsh, who likewise questioned the results of the 2020 election, recently testified before a state panel that the audit, conducted by a private third party, did not uncover any fraud .

Mastriano, eyeing a run for governor in 2022, has nonetheless continued to push debunked claims about voter fraud, endorsing an activist campaign for a statewide audit that falsely claims the presidential election in Pennsylvania was rigged by the Chinese government. According to a joint statement from local and national officials, including members of the former Trump administration, there is in fact "no evidence any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

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