Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey must send in state police or the National Guard to protect the team conducting a GOP-backed 2020 election audit in Maricopa County, said former President Donald Trump.
Showing his vested interest in the controversial review, which is being challenged in court by Democrats, the 45th president sent three tweemails through his Save America PAC over the past 24 hours. In those messages, Trump praised the Republicans he says are “exposing the large scale voter fraud,” sharing a fundraising link for the endeavor and needling the state’s GOP governor for not doing more to protect it.
“The Republican Party is demanding that Governor Ducey of Arizona immediately provide large-scale security for the brave American Patriots doing the Forensic Audit of the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump said in a missive on Saturday morning.
“Governor Ducey will be held fully responsible for the safety of those involved. State police or National Guard must be immediately sent out for protection,” he added. “The Democrats do not want to have this information revealed, and they will do anything to stop it. Governor Ducey must finally act!”
The Washington Examiner reached out to Ducey’s office for comment on Trump’s demand.
The audit includes a recount of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Arizona’s most populous county and a forensic audit of the voting machines. The review is taking place in Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, and the GOP-led Arizona Senate hired Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity firm from Florida, to manage it.
Democrats sued to stop the audit, arguing that it violates state election security laws, but refused to pay a $1 million bond set by a judge on Friday in order for there to be a temporary pause over the weekend. However, the judge has ordered Cyber Ninjas to provide documents about its procedures, while Kory Langhofer, a lawyer for the Arizona Senate’s president, has indicated there will be an appeal.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is in charge of state elections, asked the Arizona attorney general to investigate whether there were any violations of state law, citing local media reporting about the audit process. But she revealed a letter late Friday from Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, saying it “does not meet the standard of a credible allegation.”
President Joe Biden won Maricopa County by more than 45,000 votes and the state of Arizona by more than 10,000 votes. Although Republicans assert that the audit is meant to restore confidence in the voting process, critics, including Democratic state Sen. Martin Quezada, insist it’s a “dangerous” sham review. And they have also raised concerns about Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan, who has promoted allegations of voter fraud on social media.
Although two prior audits found no issues, Trump and his allies have pegged the audit in Maricopa County (along with a lawsuit in Antrim County, Michigan) as being essential to rooting out fraud in the 2020 contest in a way that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow warned “none of their failed lawsuits in the past have been able to do.”
“Why are the Democrats so desperate to stop this Election Fraud from being revealed? That answer is obvious! The Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, has been shockingly of zero help to the State Senate,” Trump said on Friday. “He wants to ‘pretend’ the election was free and fair. What are he and the Maricopa County Commissioners trying to hide? Our country needs the truth of the scam 2020 Election to be exposed.”
Trump previously assailed Ducey in late November, saying the governor “betrayed the people of Arizona” immediately after he certified the results of the election in his state. Ducey responded with a nine-tweet thread, defending the election process in Arizona and inviting legal challenges to anyone who wanted to contest the results. “That’s the law. I’ve sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously,” he said.
The Arizona Republican Party voted in January to censure Ducey, along with former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, after the trio of Republicans either did not support Trump’s bid to overturn the election results or endorsed Biden before the election. Ducey was also censured for imposing COVID-19 restrictions in the state, with rules that GOP lawmakers argued violated Arizona’s constitution while accusing the governor of wielding “dictatorial powers.”
Original Author: Daniel Chaitin