This week, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann tweeted that the team conducting the partisan election review in Maricopa County was preparing its report for the Senate, which will then review the report for “accuracy and clarity.” News articles indicate a draft report is expected by early next week.
When that collection of purported findings will be released (or leaked) to the public is yet to be announced, but Fann’s professed commitment to accuracy does little to dispel serious skepticism about any conclusions outlined in the report. Here’s why:
As the “audit” has dragged on for months, the Arizona Senate has resisted transparency about the operation.
- This week, an Arizona judge again ordered the Senate to release records related to the audit, which American Oversight first sued for back in May. The court gave the Senate until Aug. 31 to produce the records.
- On Thursday, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected the Senate’s arguments against having to release records that are physically held by lead contractor Cyber Ninjas, finding that those documents “are no less public records simply because they are in the possession of a third party.”
- In another attempt to delay transparency, the Senate has now filed a motion for stay in the state Supreme Court.
The biased and inexperienced contractors running the “audit” have proven themselves to be less than trustworthy. From Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan’s past promotion of election conspiracies to his false allegation in July of more than 70,000 extra mail-in ballots, Cyber Ninjas’ conclusions are likely to embrace the stolen-election narrative at the expense of accuracy.
- During a press call on Thursday, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer reportedly said, “Whatever they produce, I would not be surprised if they ultimately have to walk it back.”
- On Thursday, the Arizona secretary of state’s office released a prebuttal report on the review, detailing its “secretive and disorganized” practices, including the use of “code words” to “warn others that the Secretary of State observers were in the area.”
The entire stunt was undertaken with predetermined conclusions in mind, meant to serve partisan political ends. Before a final report is shared with (or leaked to) the public, revisit American Oversight’s report on how any purported findings have already been compromised.
Some other news about the Arizona “audit” from this week:
- On Wednesday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors filed a claim with the state Senate for more than $2.8 million, the amount spent replacing the county’s vote-counting machines. The machines were potentially compromised when they were handed over to the contractors, which are not accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and therefore would be decertified.
- Last month, the Senate conducted an “independent” check on the auditors’ work. To help, the Senate brought in Cyber Ninjas attorney Bryan Blehm, who had previously worked on the audit.
The wave of new voting restrictions across the country shows that partisan recounts aren’t the only anti-democratic consequences of the big lie. Georgia’s new election law, which passed this spring, not only imposed new voting and registration restrictions; it also gave the state more power to take control of local election offices:
- Georgia’s State Election Board on Wednesday appointed a bipartisan panel to review the election management of Fulton County, home to Atlanta, after Republican representatives of the county requested an investigation under the state’s new election law.
- The move is a potential step toward a takeover of elections in the heavily Democratic county.
On the Records
AG Barr’s Calendars
Calendars from May 2019 through 2020 show that former Attorney General William Barr attended numerous White House meetings through the course of former President Trump’s first impeachment. The documents also reveal the close contacts between Barr and John Durham, the U.S. attorney who was tapped to look into the origins of the Russia investigation as a counter to the Mueller report.
The Hunt for Medical Supplies in Spring 2020
During the early months of the pandemic, then-White House Adviser Jared Kushner was tasked with spearheading the procurement of badly needed supplies and PPE, relying extensively on the private sector. Adam Boehler, then the CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and a former college roommate of Kushner, played a central role, and we obtained a number of emails showing Boehler’s efforts to connect with international leaders about supply shortages, as well as an email in which Boehler asked an assistant, “Where should I put 500k n95 masks.”
Other Stories We’re Following
The Coronavirus Pandemic
- Inside America’s Covid-reporting breakdown (Politico)
- Troubling CDC vaccine data convinced Biden team to back booster shots (Politico)
- Vaccines show declining effectiveness against infection overall but strong protection against hospitalization amid Delta variant (Washington Post)
- Israel, once the model for beating Covid, faces new surge of infections (New York Times)
- The Delta variant is putting America’s hospitals back in crisis mode (Washington Post)
- Biden to require Covid vaccines for nursing home staff (Associated Press)
- In Florida, Texas and Arizona, defiant school leaders are sticking with mask mandates (NPR)
The Pandemic in Texas
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for Covid-19 (New York Times)
- Texas warns Austin restaurants that their liquor licenses could be revoked for requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccinations (Texas Tribune)
- Texas Supreme Court declines to back governor’s ban of school mask mandates (NBC News)
The Pandemic in Florida
- Gov. DeSantis top donor invests in Covid drug governor promotes (Associated Press)
- Florida school district with thousands in isolation or quarantine calls emergency board meeting (CNN)
- Biden administration prompts largest permanent increase in food stamps (New York Times)
- Infrastructure bill would create new agency without job protections, angering federal unions still smarting from fights with Trump (Washington Post)
- How the Census Bureau stood up to Donald Trump’s meddling (New York Times)
- DeJoy bought up to $305,000 in bonds from USPS board chair’s investment firm (Washington Post)
- Kushner pal hit with state charges months after Trump pardon (Politico)
- How the Trump tax law created a loophole that lets top executives net millions by slashing their own salaries (ProPublica)
- In a first, U.S. declares shortage on Colorado River, forcing water cuts (New York Times)
- EPA to block pesticide tied to neurological harm in children (New York Times)
- Federal judge rejects Trump-era permits for major Alaska oil project (Washington Post)
- Biden administration considers reviving Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy (Vice)
- Biden administration pitches changes to speed up asylum process at the border (USA Today)
In the States
- Arizona’s new early voting restrictions hit with lawsuit (The Hill)
- Where lots of police shootings draw little scrutiny (Marshall Project)
- Massachusetts police can easily seize your money. The DA of one county makes it near impossible to get it back. (ProPublica)
- Texas can ban common abortion procedure in second trimester, appeals court rules (Texas Tribune)
- After nearly six-week exodus over GOP voting bill, enough Democrats return to Texas House to resume work (Texas Tribune)
- S.D. Guard chief says he was unaware of Noem’s deployment plan (Valdosta Daily Times)
Jan. 6 and the Big Lie
- Election officials call for audit guidelines after Trump-fueled surge (Politico)
- Man surrenders after claiming to have bomb near U.S. Capitol (Associated Press)
- D.C. tunnel history site flagged suspicious activity before Capitol insurrection (NBC4 Washington)
- A short-lived Trump campaign staffer is now at the head of the far right’s Jan. 6 counternarrative (BuzzFeed News)
- Homeland Security considers outside firms to analyze social media after Jan. 6 failure (Wall Street Journal)
- GOP legislators spread debunked claims at Lindell’s ‘Cyber Symposium’ (Arizona Mirror)
- Alaska Rep. Eastman attends Mike Lindell election security conference in South Dakota (Must Read Alaska)
- Washington Republican legislators push election fraud narrative at hearing (Seattle Times)
- Pa. GOP lawmaker says the cause for a forensic election investigation is ‘weakened and diminished’ (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)