Republicans start election ‘investigation’ in Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democratic members of Pennsylvania’s Senate say that Thursday’s first hearing in what Republicans call a “full forensic investigation” into last year’s presidential election is part of a national campaign to attack elections.

It initially had been ardently pressed by senators vowing to bring an Arizona-style election “audit” to Pennsylvania.

But leaders of the state Senate’s Democratic minority say it is a perversion of the Senate’s rules and an extension of a nationwide campaign to roll back voting rights in service to Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him.

Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, called it a taxpayer-funded “campaign event” to rescue Trump.

The matter has sown discord in the Senate Republican caucus. But the Senate’s top Republican, President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, has pledged to carry out a “full forensic investigation” of last year’s election after previously being dismissive of the idea.

Corman has said the effort is necessary “to improve our election system going forward” and has vowed to issue subpoenas if necessary.

Trump’s false claims of a stolen election have been debunked by the courts, his own Justice Department and numerous recounts. President Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes last November.

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