Rudy Giuliani is set to headline an event for Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano (R), who is publicly mulling a run for governor, just weeks after the FBI raided Giuliani’s home and property.
The event is scheduled for May 15 at a Christian school in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. General tickets are $50 and VIP ones — which include a “VIP reception” — are $500 each. The event was first reported by ABC27, an ABC affiliate in Harrisburg.
Mastriano did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions about the event.
FBI agents seized cell phones and computers after using search warrants to raid Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office in the early morning of April 28. The raid was reportedly linked to Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine while he was former President Donald Trump’s lawyer.
Mastriano is no stranger to Giuliani or the greater MAGA universe. An avid Trump supporter who is personally friendly with the former President, his campaign spent thousands of dollars on charter buses to D.C. ahead of the January 6 rally-turned-insurrection. He said that he left when the event turned violent, and did not partake in ransacking the Capitol. Some called for his resignation afterwards.
He’s also a vocal purveyor of the election fraud conspiracy theory, continuing to make those claims as recently as last week at a dinner for Berks County Republicans, which he keynoted.
He said during the speech that Trump had called him and urged him to run for governor. Current Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is term-limited in 2022.
Also during his remarks, Mastriano called the “Texas case” — a seeming reference to the lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to throw out votes from battleground states President Joe Biden won — the “best case” and recounted conversations he’d had with Trump about attempts to invalidate ballots with various lawsuits after the election.
He recalled watching the November presidential results coming in on Election Day and feeling comfortable, only to wake up and see that Trump’s lead had dissipated. “What happened to that lead?” he asked. “Something really bad happened.” He continued that he heard from “thousands” of people across Pennsylvania claiming that they’d been “cheated” or “defrauded.”
He said that during the week of Thanksgiving, he got a call from Giuliani and Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis telling him “it’s done,” and that efforts to overthrow the election had failed in Michigan, Georgia and Arizona. They asked him, he recalled, to “find out what happened” in Pennsylvania.
He then set up a public hearing in Gettysburg to examine election “irregularities” the day after Pennsylvania certified its vote count, cementing Biden’s win. Giuliani attended the hearing and aired his grievances; Trump only called in on speakerphone.
“What is happening in Arizona is a direct result” of that hearing, Mastriano said, referring to the ongoing Arizona vote audit, which has also leaned into the election-theft conspiracy theory.
Soon after that Gettysburg hearing, Mastriano was invited to meet with Trump in the White House. He reportedly left the meeting abruptly, upon learning that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. There were apparently no hard feelings from the former President though, who called him days after while he was giving an interview on a conservative radio show.
Despite his own brush with the disease, Mastriano spent much of last week’s speech mocking Wolf’s COVID-19 precautions, saying he’s been scared “like COVID is gonna jump you!” He compared mask mandates to living in east Germany.
Still, his comments at the dinner were ultimately overshadowed by those of county GOP chairman Clay Breece, who said that Democrats had been infected by the same evil as Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Japan’s Prime Minister Hideki Tojo had during World War II.
Mastriano is a relative political newcomer, only having been elected to the state Senate during a special election in 2019. The field of gubernatorial candidates is expected to be large, and Mastriano will likely not be the only Trump-aligned Republican. Still, his relationship with the former President and particularly his support of his election fraud conspiracy has considerably raised his profile.