“I believe Sen. Dush will begin holding hearings this week and we will — the investigation will take us where we need to go,” Corman said in the radio interview.
In tapping Dush, Corman effectively sidelined GOP state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who had been leading the charge for an election review in Pennsylvania.
“It is deeply disappointing that Senator Mastriano has retreated from conducting a forensic investigation of the election in Pennsylvania, and it is discouraging to realize that he was only ever interested in politics and showmanship and not actually getting things done,” Corman wrote in a barbed statement August 20. “Despite this setback, we remain committed to conducting a full investigatory audit of recent elections to improve our election system going forward.”
Privately, Republicans in the state were also griping about Mastriano’s bulldozing approach, grumbling that he had forged ahead without much buy in from GOP officials in the legislature or at the county level, according to people familiar with the situation.
Mastriano did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Setting aside the GOP food fight, it’s inclear how Corman and Dush intend to proceed with their election review. President Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes and even Republicans like Corman have acknowledged that any sort of post-election review won’t overturn the results there or Biden’s presidential victory.
Still, Corman said in the radio interview, “I don’t necessarily have faith in the results. I think that there were many problems in our election that we need to get to the bottom of.”
He also said he was keeping former President Donald Trump up to date on the audit plans.
“I’ve been in communication with the President on numerous occasions — the former President — even recently, and I think he’s comfortable where we’re heading, so we’re just going to continue that work,” Corman said in the radio interview.
Despite the partisan push for the audit, Corman insisted he wanted people to be involved in a review “who don’t have ties to anybody.”
“What we’re trying to do is make sure we have credibility,” Corman said in the radio interview, as he promised to conduct a “full forensic investigation.”
Dush, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has been a proponent of an Arizona-style ballot review. He and Mastriano traveled to Phoenix to tour the site of the so-called Maricopa County ballot audit, which has been panned by Republicans and Democrats for its partisan origins and shoddy procedures.
After visiting Phoenix, Dush signaled his support for a similar audit in Pennsylvania, telling a reporter he “absolutely” wanted to replicate the process.