It’s been tough to find out what’s going on with the election audit in Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona. One can imagine how mainstream "news" sources are incorporating DNC talking points and lying by omission, so we waste as little time with them as possible. Here are the facts as we’ve been able to put them together.
The Arizona state senate Republicans sponsored this audit –- which WILL NOT change the certified election results but could shed light on their accuracy –- but the state Democrat Party took to the courts to try to shut it down. Judge Christopher Coury, a Republican appointee, told the Democrats he’d halt the audit if they put up a $1 million bond to cover the cost of delaying it. Democrats declined to put up the money. A spokesperson said the reason was that they had “zero confidence” in the honesty of the outside company leading the audit, Cyber Ninjas, in reporting their increased cost.
As reported on Friday by the local NBC affiliate, 12News, “a Democratic attorney” (we’d thought this might be the infamous Marc Elias, but it appears to be another attorney, Roopali Desai} told Judge Coury that Cyber Ninjas was breaking Arizona law in the way it was handling the ballots. In a hearing set for Monday, the Republicans were supposed to demonstrate that they were following Arizona law.
By the way, here’s an example of that news outlet’s reporting: “The audit is being led, funded and supported by people with documented records of promoting the falsehood that the Arizona vote was stolen from former President Donald Trump.” Change the word “falsehood” to “allegation,” and whoever wrote this might someday be qualified to graduate from journalism school.
Anyway, it was over the weekend that things got crazy. On Sunday evening, Judge Coury suddenly recused himself from the case, and the first reports of this gave no reason. This was less than 24 hours before the court’s scheduled hearing at 11AM Monday.
In a court filing, Judge Coury said that a lawyer representing Senate Republicans’ lead auditor –- that’s Cyber Ninjas –- had worked as an ‘extern’ in his office within the last five years, and that the judicial code of conduct compelled him to therefore step aside.
In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the noun “extern” refers to “a person connected with an institution but not living or boarding in it specifically.” And here’s a short video explaining what it is.
Some news reports are accusing Cyber Ninjas of deliberately hiring this attorney for its team to force Judge Coury to recuse. But this allegation seems to make no sense, as it ended up giving them a new judge, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin, who arguably might turn out to be less sympathetic than the original one, perhaps even biased against them. In fact, as reported by THE EPOCH TIMES, Judge Martin, a Democrat appointee, worked for the law firm Brown & Bain before it merged with Perkins Coie, Marc Elias’s firm, which as you’ll recall is the one that hired Fusion GPS, who hired Christopher Steele, who used bogus reports from a Russian subsource to write the anti-Trump “dossier.” Marc Elias was the attorney who went to Arizona to sue for changes in election law in advance of the 2020 election. This connection might not mean anything, but it does raise eyebrows. Why would anyone connected with this audit prefer THIS JUDGE over the first one?
At this writing (very early Wednesday morning), Judge Martin had allowed the audit to continue but said he might change his mind at the next hearing, scheduled for Wednesday.
The audit includes a hand recount in Veterans Memorial Coliseum of all 2.1 million cast in Maricopa County, Arizona, the Phoenix area, scheduled to take 19 days. There will also be an examination of the 400 tabulation machines, as well as follow-up interviews with voters, presumably to help verify that mail-in ballots come from actual voters who reside where they’re alleged to.
The Arizona secretary of state, Democrat Katie Hobbs, went on CNN Monday night and told Chris Cuomo that the audit “seems like such a farce” and should be stopped.
“A group of Republicans are continuing to try to appease their base who refuse to accept that...Trump lost Arizona and that he’s not the President anymore,” she said. She accused the auditors of “making stuff up as they go along” but gave no specifics.
She called the auditors “fake auditors” and said to Cuomo, ‘I think there was a high level of expectation that whoever had their hands on the ballots and the equipment would adhere to some level of security measures and transparency, and that clearly has not happened.” Funny, I thought “transparency” meant NOT trying to shut down a verification of the election results. But if the audit does turn up some discrepancies, that’s the argument they’ll use to cast doubt.
Cuomo said Republicans were doing this without any legal mandate, which is not true. As even Hobbs said in their interview, there were subpoenas in January from the Arizona state senate, a judge ruled in February that these were valid and must be obeyed, and Maricopa County supervisors “decided not to” appeal it. So there’s your legal mandate; read it and weep.
This is a fast-moving story, with more news breaking on the fate of the audit at some point on Wednesday. Stay tuned.