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House to probe if Arizona audit is 'effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories'

The House Oversight Committee informed Cyber Ninjas that it is investigating the ‘audit’ it’s conducting for Republicans in the Arizona state Senate.

By Emily Singer - July 15, 2021
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Members of the House Oversight Committee

The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday announced it is investigating the “audit” Republicans in the Arizona state Senate are conducting of the state’s 2020 election results, questioning whether the firm they chose to conduct the review — Cyber Ninjas — is actually running a legitimate effort or merely “an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories.”

In a letter to Doug Logan, the Donald Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist who owns Cyber Ninjas, the committee wrote that it is “concerned” about his company’s “role in this highly unusual effort.”

The audit has been plagued by reports of mismanagement, including that auditors were violating election procedure, looking into wild and racist conspiracy theories, and incorrectly counting ballots.

In fact, the audit is going to cost nearly $3 million at least for replacing voting machines that were compromised. It’s currently unclear whether taxpayers or Republican state senators will foot the bill.

“The Committee is deeply troubled by Cyber Ninjas’ lack of election audit experience; its reported mismanagement of the audit in Maricopa County, which may have compromised ballots and election equipment; your own bias and history of embracing conspiracy theories related to the election; and the private sources of funding that may have further undermined the credibility and impartiality of this effort,” the committee wrote in the letter.

The letter continued, “The Committee is particularly concerned that your company’s actions could undermine the integrity of federal elections and interfere with Americans’ constitutional right to cast their ballot freely and to have their votes counted without partisan interference.”

The Oversight Committee told Logan it is seeking multiple documents as part of its investigation, including “all communications” between “Cyber Ninjas employees, consultants, agents, volunteers, or representatives” and a long list of others, including Trump himself; Trump administration officials; members of the Trump campaign; former Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani; conspiracy-theory-pushing lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, who are facing possible sanctions for their multiple failed lawsuits to overturn the election; ex-Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who along with Powell advocated for Trump to invoke martial law to prevent a peaceful transition of power, and Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO who has been falsely claiming that Trump will be “reinstated” as president thanks to fraud.

It also wants to see Cyber Ninjas’ plans for the audit, including the instructions it gave to auditors, any strategy documents, records of who donated to fund the audit, any documents detailing “security or integrity problems that arose during the audit,” and any findings the auditors have made to date.

It’s unclear when the ongoing audit will end.

Republican state Senate President Karen Fann, who kicked off the audit, told a radio host on Tuesday that the count Cyber Ninjas came up with did not match up with the count from election officials. It’s something experts were not surprised by, as observers witnessed incorrect counting by auditors in real time.

The audit has been plagued by so many reports of mismanagement that even some Republicans in the state have turned against it, calling it embarrassing.

It’s also unpopular with voters, with GOP consultants warning that the effort could hurt Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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