AZ AG Defends Sketchy Audit, Tells AG Garland He’s ‘Not Amused’ By DOJ ‘Posturing’

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 01: Contractors working for Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate, examine and recount ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoeni... PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 01: Contractors working for Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate, examine and recount ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa County ballot recount comes after two election audits found no evidence of widespread fraud. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 15, 2021 9:42 a.m.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) told the U.S. Justice Department Monday that that DOJ was “supporting the hysterical outcries of leftist pundits on cable television” when it sent a letter last month inquiring about the state’s partisan recount of the 2020 election.

The May 5 letter, sent by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, raised examples of where the so-called audit may be running afoul of federal law. On Friday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland referenced the letter in a speech that promised the federal agency would scrutinize post-elections audits to “ensure they abide by federal statutory requirements to protect election records and avoid the intimidation of voters.”

Brnovich, in his Monday letter addressed to Garland, said the U.S. Attorney General’s comments were “troubling.” He accused Garland of displaying “disdain” for state sovereignty.

“My office is not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonians of the accuracy of the elections,” Brnovich wrote. “We stand ready to defend federalism and state sovereignty against any partisan attacks or federal overreach.”

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Brnovich’s swipes at Garland escalate the tensions between state and federal governments as the Biden administration ramps up its efforts to protect voting rights. When Arizona’s Senate President Karen Fann (R), who is spearheading the audit, responded to the DOJ’s May 5 letter previously, her tone was far less combative than Brnovich’s, who announced a U.S. Senate run last week.

Read the Brnovich letter below:

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