Harrisburg, PA - Treasurer Torsella today issued the following statement in response to photos and social media posts of a former and current Pennsylvania legislator relating to the violent assault last week at the United States Capitol.
“One of the most shocking moments of last week’s appalling attack on our democracy was seeing photos of a former and current Pennsylvania legislator — one formerly paid by taxpayers, and one currently paid by taxpayers. A photo posted on social media on January 6th, apparently long after after the “protest” had turned into a violent assault on Congress carrying out its constitutional duty, showed former State Representative Rick Saccone and current State Senator Doug Mastriano smiling together at the Capitol.
“This insurrection, at the seat of American government, appropriately shocked the world. The right of peaceful protest is fundamental, but as responsible leaders have recognized on a bipartisan basis, these events — the closest we have ever come in this country to an attempted coup – were something else entirely. Their violent and anti-democratic purpose had been clear for weeks before. Former Representative Saccone made an explicit call for insurrection: ‘We are storming the capitol. Our vanguard has broken thru the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?’ That day Rudy Giuliani called for “trial by combat” and the President himself clearly incited violence.
“I call on the legislature and law enforcement to immediately open an investigation into the conduct of former Representative Saccone and Senator Mastriano, including the possible use of any public funds or resources used or received by either of them. Their conduct, as publicly reported, demands an immediate criminal investigation into their role in aiding or abetting the organizing, promotion, encouragement and / or participation in a riot and civil disorder that resulted in the death of five individuals, including a federal law enforcement officer.
“We saw last Wednesday the clear consequences the words of public officials can have when they are turned against the very foundations of our democratic system, explicitly to subvert the results of a free and fair election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power. I agree wholeheartedly with former President George W. Bush, who said ‘I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol -- and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress -- was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.’
“As one of those leaders who has behaved so recklessly, Senator Mastriano has demonstrated that he is utterly unfit to hold public office, which is a privilege and not a right. He should therefore resign.
“I hope all Pennsylvania leaders will once again come together around our proud tradition of upholding democratic values, renewing our bonds as one American family, resolving that we will never allow last week’s disgraceful scene to happen again, and reclaiming our identity as a constitutional republic under the rule of law.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Joe Torsella