State judge overseeing Democratic challenge to Republican-controlled Arizona Senate ‘audit’ over 2020 election –a secret effort the state that the GOP is using as a sort of Hail Mary to overthrow or at least delegitimize Joe Biden’s victory there –ordered that the process no longer take place behind closed doors.
Biden won the county by 45,000 votes, and there has been no evidence of wrongdoing, just wacky speculation by Donald Trump supporters that only some type of insidious conspiracy could account for his downfall. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office said the results had already been certified and there was no possibility to change them. The “audit” is in progress led by Cyber Ninjas, a little-known and questionably qualified Florida-based company owned by Stop the Steal Conspiracy Theorist Doug Logan this complaints Trump actually won the state by 200,000 votes.
Tuesday, by the Arizona MirrorMaricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin has rejected an attempt by lawyers representing cabinet and Arizona Senate Republicans to bar the public from attending a Wednesday hearing where Republicans sought to keep the secret how they recount 2.1 million votes. He added that he was concerned that the confidentiality of voter data was not being respected, and the GOP side had failed to persuade him “that the rights of voters in Maricopa County were protected”. Then, during this Wednesday hearing, according to Fox 10Martin ruled against State Democrats that the audit can continue, but Cyber Ninja will not be allowed to keep its proceedings a secret.
Cyber Ninja claimed secrecy was necessary because their recount procedures are trade secrets. While Martin has granted the firm until Thursday to appeal, the outlook for the Ninjas looks rather grim. According to Memo of talking points, their original legal team released his bail and their new lawyers don’t seem to have bothered to get up to speed on the case:
Wednesday’s hearing had a particularly difficult start for Cyber Ninjas. Just before the hearing, they asked that it be postponed for one to two days as the lawyers representing the company withdrew from the case and were replaced by a new legal team. Martin JA allowed the request to let the original lawyers step down, but did not grant the delay. He also did not grant a request made after declining the delay offer for the original legal team to be allowed to argue in Wednesday’s hearing.
Cyber Ninjas’ new lawyers were unprepared to argue the company’s position on the issues discussed at Wednesday’s hearing. When given the opportunity to speak on these issues by the judge, attorney Jordan Wolff simply said that they were “sticking to the filings” that had already been submitted in the case.
As TPM noted, it wasn’t just Democrats who fought the audit. Arizona Republicans in the Senate fought with Maricopa County election officials, who defended the integrity of the vote and carried out their own audit confirming that the voting machines were secure and that the vote count was accurate. Jack Sellers, Chairman of the Maricopa County Supervisory Board told AZ Central in February, “we understood that state law prohibited the publication of ballots once they had been sealed.” Republicans went so far as to threaten them with a resolution despising officials, while Trump’s revenge in Arizona and elsewhere bombarded them with vicious death threats; the county is now cooperating with the audit by court order.
Arizona Republicans heavily invested in the audit, which will cost around $ 150,000, despite the inability to change the 2020 election result because Biden’s statewide margin of victory of just over 10,000 votes is thinner than his 45,000 margin in Maricopa County. Trump still holds the stranglehold on republican politics after his disastrous presidency because of its popularity with the Conservatives, with all that assault on Capitol Hill by its supporters in January that has served to underline how far many of them are willing to go.
The ex-president sent many statements from his sad office of the former president in Florida supporting the audit and lambasting Democratic and Republican officials who oppose it, including GOP Governor Doug Ducey apparently operating under the theory that Cyber Ninjas can somehow prove he’s won the state and pave the way for a political resurgence (or maybe just appease his injured ego). Even if the audit did it by magic, it would only reduce Biden’s victory in the Eelectoral College from 306-232 to 295-243.