Leader Of AZ Audit Appears In Conspiracy Theory Doc Alleging Rigged 2020 Election

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 28, 2021 12:14 p.m.

The CEO of the lead contractor in Arizona Senate’s “audit” of 2020 election results appeared in a conspiracy theory film about the election that premiered Saturday, one asserting that Donald Trump’s second term in office was stolen via a rigged election. 

Doug Logan, CEO of lead audit contractor “Cyber Ninjas,” appeared anonymously in the documentary “The Deep Rig” until his identity was unveiled midway through the film, according to The Arizona Mirror and The Daily Beast, reporters from which attended its premier. 

Both outlets noted that the documentary crew appeared to have had broad access to the Arizona audit process — including footage of Arizonans’ ballots from the floor of the audit venue — in contrast to regular members of the news media, whose movements have been tightly controlled

The film is based off of a book of the same name by Patrick Byrne, the ex-Overstock.com CEO who for months has falsely claimed that the election was stolen. The film’s creators have said profits from the documentary will go to Byrne’s group, The America Project, the Arizona Mirror reported. 

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The America Project, in turn, is one of several groups fundraising for the audit, though there is no process in place to track the money, nor its sources or recipients. (In recent weeks, a progress bar showing that nearly $2 million had been raised was removed from FundTheAudit.com, The America Project’s fundraising page for the Arizona audit.) 

At one point in the film, when he was appearing anonymously, Logan said that he believed the CIA may be behind election-related “disinformation,” according to the reporters present. Toward the end of the film, Logan said, “If we don’t fix our election integrity now, we may no longer have a democracy.” 

Logan was long suspected to have been involved in the documentary, starting when a trailer for the project was released earlier this month. Arizona reporters quickly identified Logan’s voice.

The involvement of Logan and Cyber Ninjas has long weakened the audit’s legitimacy in the eyes of outside observers: Cyber Ninjas had no experience with elections work prior to the 2020 election, and Logan frequently posed wild conspiracy theories about the election on Twitter — including that “the good guys” had seized a Dominion server in Germany containing evidence of election fraud. (They hadn’t.) 

Earlier this year, the pro-Trump attorney and QAnon adherent Lin Wood told TPM that Logan and several others were at his South Carolina property in November last year “working on the investigation into election fraud.” Wood claimed his own group, Fight Back, had donated $50,000 to an audit fundraiser.

But Saturday’s premier only tied the audit deeper to the election conspiracy theory fringe: State Senate President Karen Fann (R), who authorized the audit in the first place, was reportedly in attendance at the event, as were several other Arizona lawmakers. Ken Bennett, the GOP-controlled Senate’s liaison to the audit, also appeared in the film. 

The film and premier included several prominent QAnon proponents. The QAnon theory holds that a massive cabal of satanic pedophiles runs the world, and also that mass arrests and executions are warranted in response. 

Trump pardon recipient and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn appeared in the film wearing a bracelet with the text “WWG1WGA,” the Arizona Mirror reported, a reference to the QAnon slogan “Where We Go One We Go All.” And Logan, prior to being de-anonymized, mentioned in the film that he worked with Flynn on various cybersecurity issues, the Mirror noted.

The event was hosted by QAnon promoter Ann Vandersteel and included brief remarks from Austin Steinbart, a QAnon influencer of sorts who’s claimed to receive prophetic messages from his future self.

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