As the Arizona Senate continues its efforts to delay transparency in its partisan election “audit,” the contractors running the operation have introduced yet more delays of their own.
The timeline for completing the sham review of Maricopa County’s election results had already stretched from weeks into months when a spokesman said last week that contractor Cyber Ninjas’ draft report was expected to be delivered to the state Senate by Monday. But on Monday, Senate President Karen Fann said it would only be a partial report because members of the Cyber Ninjas team were “quite sick” with Covid-19. Days later, even a partial report had not yet been delivered.
Meanwhile, in our lawsuit for records of the “audit,” the Arizona Supreme Court granted a stay on a lower court’s order requiring the Senate to turn over Cyber Ninjas’ records by Aug. 31. But the order does not freeze the litigation — the Aug. 31 deadline still applies to thousands of pages of related material. Be sure to check our website for updates; we’ll publish records as soon as they’re released.
Of course, the Senate’s resistance to transparency doesn’t obscure the fact that any purported findings in the contractors’ final report have already been compromised. And we continue to see attempts to relitigate the 2020 election in other states, as well as troubling reports about potential voter intimidation by self-described volunteers going door to door to ask about the election in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
William Barr’s Text Messages
This week, in response to American Oversight litigation, the Justice Department released text messages of former Attorney General William Barr from 2019 and 2020. Messages exchanged with a top DOJ spokesperson and his chief of staff in late May and June of last year, as protests against the murder of George Floyd swept across the country, were of particular note: After former President Trump tweeted that he was designating antifa as a terrorist group — a designation that does not exist for domestic organizations — Barr and spokesperson Kerri Kupec discussed the tweet’s empty threat but celebrated its popularity among the president’s base.
Giuliani’s Ukraine Backchannel
In February 2020, Barr confirmed that the Justice Department had created a special “intake process” for assessing information regarding Ukraine that came from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. That information was reportedly being routed through the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh. We’ve obtained emails that potentially point to this arrangement, including one about a January 2020 meeting involving Giuliani’s lawyer and the U.S. attorney’s office. Another set of records include misleading materials that Giuliani sent to the office. More details here.
Ivanka Trump’s Emails with José Andrés
Pandemic-related emails from the Department of Agriculture include one sent on April 24, 2020, from chef José Andrés to Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and various USDA officials, in which Andrés offered his help and talked about what his nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen had been doing to deliver meals to people. See the other emails here.
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