Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich on Thursday threatened to withhold state funds from Maricopa County after it rejected new subpoenas from the Senate for election materials in the shoddy “audit” of its election results.
Earlier this month, Maricopa County’s board of supervisors pushed back on the Republican-controlled state Senate’s subpoenas for additional election materials. The latest round of subpoenas demanded ballot envelopes with voter signatures and internet routers from the county, among other things. The county has resisted handing over its routers, arguing that the request was based on a conspiracy theory about voting machines being connected to the internet — earlier, legitimate assessments determined they were not — and would represent a security risk to the county.
“So, there is nothing to gain and far too much potential harm to risk removing all of the County’s routers and producing them to the Senate’s designees,” the County said in an Aug. 2 reply to the state Senate.
The latest round of demands followed an earlier set of subpoenas from the state Senate for Maricopa County, which got the sketchy audit going. It was enforced by a judge and required the county to hand over 2020 ballots and election machines.
Brnovich wrote in his report that the county has 30 days to turn over the latest subpoenaed information to comply with the sham “audit” before it faces the possibility of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in state funds.
“If [Maricopa County] fails to resolve the violation within 30 days, the [attorney general’s office], in accordance with state law, will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold state revenue from Maricopa County until MCBOS complies,” a press release from Brnovich’s office said. “The Maricopa County Superior Court previously affirmed that the Senate has the power to issue legislative subpoenas related to election reform and has broad discretion to determine what additional information is needed.”
Following the county’s rejection of the latest subpoenas from the stateSenate earlier this month, state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R) suggested imprisoning the Republican-majority board of supervisors in Maricopa County.
“I would have arrested all of these people already if I had the power to do so. I vote to arrest. Arrest and put them in solitary,” Rogers tweeted.
The state Senate GOP’s “audit” has continued running into snags, with yet another delay after the CEO of the firm leading it, Doug Logan, and other members got “quite sick” with COVID-19.
Cyber Ninjas did not have previous experience with election audits. Its CEO, Logan, has a history of pushing pro-Trump conspiracy theories and appeared in a documentary centered on the Big Lie of a stolen 2020 presidential election.
Brnovich’s threat to Maricopa County comes a day after the county’s Superior Court Judge John Hannah ordered Cyber Ninjas to preserve documents of its audit for public release.