In an email sent on Friday to the Arizona Senate, Cyber Ninjas — the lead contractor in the Senate’s sham election “audit” — indicated that it does not intend to turn over the bulk of the records that a court has ordered to be made public until after its final report is released.
Days after the Arizona Supreme Court effectively upheld court rulings ordering records in the physical custody of Cyber Ninjas to be released, the company has turned over only four documents to the Senate, all of which were already public. The company said that it does not concede that it has a legal obligation to produce further records, but wrote that it intends to produce at least some of the documents “out of goodwill.”
According to the email, which was included in a court-ordered status report filed by the Senate in the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Cyber Ninjas is “in the final ‘throes’ of completing its work for the Senate,” namely the writing of a long-delayed final report on its purported findings. The email also indicates that Cyber Ninjas does not intend to release the bulk of its “audit”-related records until after its report is completed.
The email went on to suggest that Cyber Ninjas may resist providing the Senate copies of certain documents sought by American Oversight, such as records concerning staffing or internal communications, asserting that they are not public records.
On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court left in place rulings from two lower courts that had determined that records in the physical custody of Cyber Ninjas are public records and must be released. The Senate had attempted to argue that records held by the contractors should be exempt from disclosure. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, Senate President Karen Fann sent Cyber Ninjas a written demand for its records, as well as those of its subvendors.
The “audit” team’s report is expected to be presented next Friday, Sept. 24, after weeks of delay. American Oversight first sued for documents in May. Late last month, on a court-ordered deadline, the Senate released tens of thousands of records that provided further evidence that the operation was undertaken with partisan and anti-democratic intent. Additionally, the Senate has withheld numerous communications with external parties under a claim of legislative privilege.
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