The Arizona Senate has agreed to begin producing the emails of Senate President Karen Fann, which American Oversight had requested in its investigation of the partisan audit of 2020 election results in Maricopa County.
The first records released show Fann’s extensive involvement in setting up the audit, including emails with a reporter from right-wing outlet One America News Network (OAN) and with the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the cybersecurity firm hired by the Arizona Senate to conduct the audit.
The partisan “audit” of ballots cast in Maricopa County has become one of the most prominent conservative efforts to undermine faith in the legitimacy of the 2020 election and has been marked by a number of stories revealing the auditors’ inexperience and embrace of conspiracy theories.
The new emails were released in response to American Oversight’s public records requests. We are also pursuing a separate public records lawsuit, filed last week, seeking additional documents related to the audit.
The records released this week include emails between Fann and OAN reporter Christina Bobb, who has been raising funds for the audit through an outside group she founded called Voices and Votes. At one point, OAN had an exclusive livestream deal for broadcasting the audit.
On April 5, Fann forwarded Bobb an email, first released to the Informant, that she had sent to Senate leadership reacting to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ refusal to participate in the audit beyond complying with the Senate’s subpoena for election materials. In her email to Bobb, Fann accused the board of refusing to “help the Senate re-instill voter confidence in the elections.”
The records also include emails between Fann and Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, who prior to his firm’s being hired had made statements in support of the lie that the election had been “stolen” from former President Trump. On March 24, Fann sent Logan the court order and subpoenas for the ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 election. Fann also forwarded to Logan two inquiries regarding Cyber Ninjas from Arizona Mirror reporter Jeremy Duda.
There are also new details about the negotiations for the lease of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, which was a precondition for Maricopa County delivering the subpoenaed materials to the Senate. The emails show Senate Majority Leader Rick Gray and outside counsel Kory Langhofer were looped in.
American Oversight will continue to pursue oversight of the audit and other partisan efforts aimed at pushing false narratives about election fraud. Follow our investigation of the audit here.
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