PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s former attorney general suppressed findings by his investigators who concluded there was no basis for allegations that the 2020 election was marred by widespread fraud, according to documents released Wednesday by his successor.
Kris Mayes is the Democratic Attorney General and she took office last week. “was conducted fairly and accurately by election officials.”
Previous Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a RepublicanThe March 2022 summary investigative findings was not released. It was a compilation of all the investigations that had been made, and it ruled out many of the fraudulent claims by supporters and allies of President Donald Trump. Trump. But he published it one month later. an “interim report” He claimed he was being investigated “revealed serious vulnerabilities that must be addressed and raises questions about the 2020 election in Arizona.”
His April report was released despite opposition from his investigators, who claimed some of the claims in it were refuted during their investigation. Brnovich was at that moment engrossed in a Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate Faced with fierce criticism Trump, who claimed he wasn’t doing enough to prosecute election fraud.
Brnovich, who lost his primary bid, did not publish a September memo which systematically refuted an array of election conspiracy allegations that had taken root on right. These include claims that there were dead or duplicate voters and that ballots were flown from Asia. There are also accusations of election servers that can be connected to the internet. And even the manipulation of satellites under the control of the Italian military.
“In each instance and in each matter, the aforementioned parties did not provide any evidence to support their allegations,” It was the September memo. “The information that was provided was speculative in many instances and when investigated by our agents and support staff, was found to be inaccurate.”
One of the most important memos was September, documents released Wednesday, describes an all-encompassing probe that became the top priority for the attorney general’s investigators, who spent more than 10,000 hours looking into 638 complaints. These investigators have opened 430 investigations so far and referred 22 cases to the prosecution. Vice President Joe Biden won Arizona A little more than 10,000 votes.
Mayes stated that the fraudulent claims were wasteful.
“The ten thousand plus hours spent diligently investigating every conspiracy theory under the sun distracted this office from its core mission of protecting the people of Arizona from real crime and fraud,” Mayes made the statement in a statement.
Brnovich could not be reached for comment.
Brnovich’s “interim report” He claimed election officials were too fast in verifying voter signatures. This led to an increase in ballots with invalid signatures from 2016 through 2018, and then again in 2020. He said that Maricopa County took too long to reply to inquiries.
These claims were made even though investigators had already reviewed the draft and pushed him back. His report was published largely unchanged after their feedback.
The investigative staff concluded that the county recorder’s office “followed its policy/procedures as they relate to signature verification; we did not uncover any criminality or fraud having been committed in this area during the 2020 general election,” Investigators also wrote. Also, they stated that the county was found. “was cooperative and responsive to our requests.”
Arizona It was the center of all efforts Trump allies to cast doubt on Biden’s victory. Republican The state Senate leaders subpoenaed electoral records and equipment, and hired a Florida-based firm headed by a Trump Cyber Ninjas Inc. is a supporter. an unprecedented review Maricopa County election.
Cyber Ninjas’ review of Biden gave Biden more vote than the official count. However, their work raised serious concerns about the conduct and results of the election in Maricopa County. Maricopa County is home to the majority of metropolitan Phoenix. Arizona’s voters. The investigation by the attorney general’s office found the allegations did not stand up to scrutiny.
“Our comprehensive review of CNI’s audit showed they did not provide any evidence to support their allegations of widespread fraud or ballot manipulation,” Brnovich’s investigators wrote.
Thursday’s release is the latest confirmation It was no widespread fraud In the 2020 election And that Biden won the presidency legitimately. Trump As he continues to lie about the theft of the election, he is attempting his third attempt at the White House. reviews audits It is possible to say something else in battleground states He contested the and his own administration officials His claims were debunked.
Maricopa County officials say that they are able to endure the Republican majority of those who oversee elections in their county. death threats and verbal abuse due to the suggestions of malfeasance in the Cyber Ninjas review and Brnovich’s “interim report.”
“This was a gross misuse of his elected office and an appalling waste of taxpayer dollars, as well as a waste of the time and effort of professional investigators,” Clint Hickman (the Republican In a statement, the chairman of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors stated.
Brnovich’s investigators did conclude that Maricopa County officials did not uniformly follow state election procedures when filling out forms to document the pickup and transport of mail ballots. They said that the errors were procedural. “investigators did not find anything that would (have) compromised the integrity of the ballots or the final ballot count.”
Interviews with investigators conducted on two Republican state lawmakers who publicly claimed they knew of fraud in the election, but wrote that neither Rep. Mark Finchem nor Sen. Sonny Borrelli repeated their claims to investigators — when they could have been subject to criminal charges for false reporting to law enforcement. According to investigators, a third lawmaker also claimed responsibility. Republican Wendy Rogers (state Senator), declined to meet with them.