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Pennsylvania attorney general sues to block GOP election subpoena

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HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s attorney general sued Thursday to block a Republican-approved subpoena to state election officials in what Republicans call a “forensic investigation” of last year’s presidential election, spurred on by former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that he was cheated out of victory.

The lawsuit from state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, is the second thus far targeting a subpoena approved last week by the Republican-controlled Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee. Both were filed in the state’s Commonwealth Court.

Shapiro’s office asked the court to block the subpoena because, it said, it serves no legitimate legislative purpose and stems from Trump’s efforts to undermine trust in the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The suit also targets certain information requests in the subpoena as illegal or unconstitutional, and unenforceable.

For instance, granting the subpoena’s request for voter information — including names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and partial Social Security numbers — would violate a person’s constitutional right to privacy, particularly because the subpoena isn’t based on proof of wrongdoing.

It also would expose voters’ to the risk of exposing their personal information, thus violating the constitutional right to vote, it said.

The subpoena was emailed to senior Department of State officials last week. Democrats in the state Senate also sued to block the subpoena and to put a stop to the Republicans’ “forensic investigation.”


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