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Arizona audit: Pennsylvania senator who bused protesters to US Capitol insurrection will receive tour of controversial GOP-led ballot-counting operation

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Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican. AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File
  • Pennsylvania lawmakers who backed false claims of election fraud are visiting Arizona this week.

  • The delegation is set to tour the site of a controversial, partisan audit in Maricopa County.

  • It includes a senator who spent thousands of dollars to charter buses to the Capitol on January 6.

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker who spent thousands of dollars to bus protesters to the US Capitol on January 6 will be in Arizona this week to tour the site of a GOP-backed audit of 2020 election results in Maricopa County.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano is part of a three-person delegation from Pennsylvania set to meet on Wednesday with fellow Republicans and those recounting ballots, the audit's Twitter account announced on Tuesday. Joe Biden won Maricopa County by more than 45,000 votes, a victory certified by local GOP elections officials who oppose the audit.

The Philadelphia radio station WHYY reported that Mastriano had spent more than $3,300 in campaign funds to charter buses from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, on the day of the insurrection at the Capitol. PA Spotlight said last week that it had uncovered screenshots showing Mastriano, a potential candidate for governor who has supported former President Donald Trump, "breaching a police barricade" and walking on the lawn.

Republicans in the Arizona Senate commissioned the audit in April. It's being conducted by a private firm, Cyber Ninjas, whose founder last fall shared pro-Trump conspiracy theories about election fraud.

Mastriano's visit will include a tour and "a brief from the forensic audit team," the audit account's tweet said. The lawmaker will be accompanied by two other Pennsylvania Republicans, state Sen. Cris Dush and state Rep. Rob Kauffman. All three signed letters in January asking Congress not to certify Pennsylvania's election results.

The US Department of Justice has expressed concerns that the partisan audit may be in breach of federal law. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, also recently urged local officials not to reuse any election equipment that Cyber Ninjas had used, saying the integrity of the machines had been compromised.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter cdavis@insider.com.

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