Trump, Giuliani Pushed Hard For Arizona Ballot “Audit”

The Republican led “audit” of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona in the 2020 presidential election has been criticized by Democrats as being a pointless waste of taxpayer dollars designed only to perpetuate Donald Trump’s “big lie” that the election was stolen from him. A trove of emails to and from Arizona state senators prove that the twice-impeached, one-term former president and his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani – and not the Arizona GOP – were the principal drivers behind the effort.

The nonprofit legal watchdog organization American Oversight obtained the emails through a records request under the Freedom of Information Act and published them on Friday. Among the revelations are that Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, spoke multiple times late last year with Giuliani and “I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.”

(Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

The emails also show that Arizona Republican leaders have been pressured by constituents to move forward with the recount. In one exchange on Dec. 28, a constituent threatened that Fann would be recalled by “the new patriot movement of the United States” if she did not stand up for Trump. Her response was that the state senate was “doing everything legally possible to get the forensic audit done,” even though the GOP-majority Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had voted in November to certify the election results and declared that there was “a big zero” chance that there was fraud or misconduct.

(Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

In response to one constituent who said she was “appalled, offended and upset” that taxpayer dollars were being wasted on a “fraudulent audit,” Fann replied, “This is where you are mistaken. Biden won. 45% of all Arizona voters think there is a problem with the election system.” She went on to say that the audit is intended to “disprove those theories or find ways to improve the system.”

American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers disagrees. He said the emails were clear evidence that the goal of the audit was to erode trust in the voting process and to further legitimize Trump’s “big lie.”

“The more we learn, the more it becomes clear that this is not an audit, it’s a sham partisan crusade carried out by some of the most cynical actors our democracy has ever known,” Evers said in a statement. “With each new email, the paper trail confirms that the true goal of this process is to perpetuate Donald Trump’s big lie of a stolen election and to undermine faith in our democracy.”

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