On Tuesday, the Arizona Senate released more documents in response to our ongoing lawsuit for records related to the partisan “audit” of 2020 election results in Maricopa County. The records, previously held by Cyber Ninjas, reveal new details about the firm’s split from subcontractor Wake TSI and the role various partisan fundraisers played in the election review.
The records shed new light on the role of “audit” fundraisers. On April 6, 2022, a sender with the initials “f k” emailed Logan, a recipient named “Carlito,” and Joe Flynn. Flynn is a director of former Trump-allied lawyer Sidney Powell’s group Defending the Republic and a board member of America’s Future, where his brother Michael Flynn — former national security adviser under Trump — is board chairman. Both groups fundraised for the “audit.”
“The four of us need to chat re OEW,” the email said. (“OEW” may have been referring to an election integrity initiative Flynn co-announced in February.) Records previously obtained by American Oversight indicated that fundraisers — such as staff of the America Project and Voices and Votes founder Christina Bobb — played operational roles in the “audit,” raising questions about their level of influence on the effort.
The emails also include communications between Doug Logan and Todd Sanders, who helped raise money for the “audit” through the America Project. On June 24, 2021, Sanders told Logan, “As asked, I have reviewed your 3rd grant application to America’s Future, It looks good.” In nearly identical emails sent on June 7, he also reviewed Logan’s first and second grant applications. It is unclear whether Sanders is also affiliated with America’s Future. Previously obtained emails indicate that Sanders was looped into conversations about the election review’s budget in early April 2021.
The documents also indicate that One America News Network host Christina Bobb, who communicated regularly with “audit” leaders and fundraised through her nonprofit Voices and Votes, helped provide volunteers for the effort. On May 1, she sent Logan a volunteer agreement template, writing, “The red highlights are areas Cyber Ninjas can tailor. Let me know if you’d like me to tailor it for you, or if you prefer to do it yourself.”
Wake TSI was initially hired by Cyber Ninjas in the spring of 2021 to lead the ballot count in Arizona, but in May did not renew its contract. (Wake TSI had also been hired to conduct a partisan post-election audit in Fulton County, Pa.) The records released on Tuesday — like the documents released last week suggesting that payment disputes played a role in Wake’s departure from the Arizona “audit” — provide more details about its split from Cyber Ninjas.
An email from May 7, 2021, shows that Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan took issue with the amount that Wake had been paying some “audit” workers and with the firm’s lack of transparency around those payments. “I think all along you guys have been afraid of exposing that you’re paying some people more than $200 per hour,” Logan wrote. The records contain a spreadsheet dated May 18 proposing a new list of daily pay rates for Wake employees, which included rates as high as $2,400 for project directors.
Cyber Ninjas’ contract with Wake expired on May 14, 2021. The two companies negotiated over email about the contract throughout the rest of the month, including attempting to implement a change order that ultimately failed.
In a May 18 email to Chris Witt of Wake TSI, Logan said that Wake had breached its contract by failing to provide “50 people throughout the whole term of the contract,” but said a retroactive change to the contract would allow Wake to “remedy this breach.” However, Logan added, “I would argue the breach is larger than just the number of people.”
In a lengthy follow-up sent May 23, Logan listed additional complaints that point to what Logan saw as the mismanaged nature of Wake TSI’s work on the ballot review. “I made it clear that there had been a lack of management on this project and that many things had gone sideways,” he wrote, “including stupid things like people not starting to work on time.” Logan claimed that Wake TSI never offered solutions to these problems. “On the contrary,” he wrote, “I’ve been hit with responses stating that what I’m saying is simply not true, or some crazy explanation about how its [sic] all my fault.”
For its part, Wake TSI objected to procedural changes implemented by Cyber Ninjas.In a May 19 email, Gene Kern of Wake TSI emailed Logan a list of grievances, writing, “YOU took the PE Director and turned her into the floor manager without consulting with or receiving the permission of Wake TSI.”
It’s likely that Kern was referring to Heather Honey, a Wake TSI employee and owner of Pennsylvania-based Haystack Investigations, which also worked on the “audit.” Logan responded: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I asked you a few times about having someone do more management on the floor, but I don’t even think that I mentioned that to Heather.”
Honey stayed on as an “audit” worker even after Wake’s departure. In a May 21 email, Kern expressed disapproval at Honey’s apparent attempts to poach Wake TSI workers to stay on the election review. “It is now my understanding that Heather is trying to recruit our subcontractors to work for StratTech,” Kern wrote, referring to the company that took over for Wake in leading the hand count of ballots. “That is of course in direct violation of their subcontracting agreement,” he continued. “If this is what is occurring then it will result in issues that are not going to be pleasant. … She cannot and ethically should not try to recruit our people.”
On May 23, Witt wrote in an email that Wake TSI and Doug Logan had reached a “verbal agreement” to “allow Cyber Ninjas and/or StratTech to directly employ anyone who was previously under agreement with us.”
This is the fifth set of documents recently released by the Senate that were previously held by Cyber Ninjas. Previous records revealed details about the firm’s subcontracts, the operation’s high costs, its links to the partisan election investigation in Wisconsin, and the partisan recruitment of “audit” volunteers. More information about American Oversight’s investigation into the Arizona “audit” can be found here, and all filings related to the lawsuit can be found here.
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