According to documents released Wednesday by his successor, the former attorney general of Arizona hid the fact that his investigators found no evidence to back up claims that widespread fraud took place in the 2020 election. Kris Mayes, the new Democratic Attorney General who took office last month, said that the records show that the 2020 election “was run fairly and correctly by election officials.”
Former Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich never released an investigation summary from March 2022 that said most of the fraud claims made by friends and supporters of former President Donald Trump were not true. But a month later, he released a “interim report” that said his investigation “uncovered serious problems that need to be fixed and raises questions about the 2020 election in Arizona.”
Even though his investigators said some of the things in the report were not true, he went ahead and released it anyway. At the time, Brnovich was running for the U.S. Senate in a Republican Party primary. Trump was very critical of him, saying that he wasn’t doing enough to stop election fraud.
Brnovich’s primary bid failed, and he also didn’t release a memo in September that debunked a number of right-wing election conspiracy theories. These theories include claims of dead or duplicate voters, pre-marked ballots flown in from Asia, election servers connected to the internet, and even satellites controlled by the Italian military to change the results of elections.
“In each instance and in each matter, the aforementioned parties did not provide any evidence to support their allegations,” the September memo read. “The information that was provided was speculative in many instances and when investigated by our agents and support staff, was found to be inaccurate.”
The September memo, which was one of the documents released on Wednesday, talks about an all-encompassing investigation that became the top priority for the attorney general’s investigators, who spent more than 10,000 hours looking into 638 complaints. They started 430 investigations and sent 22 cases to the police to be charged. By a little more than 10,000 votes, President Joe Biden won Arizona.
Mayes said that the claims of fraud were useless.
Mayes said in a statement-
“The ten thousand plus hours spent diligently investigating every conspiracy theory under the sun distracted this office from its core mission of protecting the people of Arizona from real crime and fraud,”
No one could reach Brnovich to get a comment from him.
In his “interim report,” Brnovich said that election officials checked voter signatures too quickly and pointed to a drop in the number of ballots with rejected signatures from 2016 to 2018 and again in 2020. He also said that Maricopa County took a long time to answer questions.
Even though investigators who looked at a draft of his report disagreed, he still made those claims. His report was mostly the same after they gave him feedback.
The staff who did the investigation came to the conclusion that the county recorder’s office “followed its policies and procedures when it came to verifying signatures. We did not find any criminal activity or fraud in this area during the 2020 general election.” “The researchers wrote. They also said that the county “worked with us and listened to our needs.”
Arizona became the main place where people who supported Trump tried to make people doubt that Biden would win. Republican leaders of the state Senate sent subpoenas for election records and equipment and hired Cyber Ninjas Inc., a Florida company led by a Trump supporter, to do a review of the Maricopa County election that had never been done before.
The Cyber Ninjas review gave Biden more votes than the official count, but they said that their work raised serious questions about how the election was run in Maricopa County, which is home to metro Phoenix and most of Arizona’s voters. The attorney general’s office looked into the claims and found that they were not true.
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Brnovich’s investigators wrote-
“Our comprehensive review of CNI’s audit showed they did not provide any evidence to support their allegations of widespread fraud or ballot manipulation,”
This is the latest proof that there wasn’t a lot of election fraud in 2020 and that Biden won the presidency in a fair way. As Trump makes his third run for the White House, he keeps saying that the election was stolen from him, even though reviews and audits in the battleground states he ran in say otherwise and his own administration officials have debunked his claims.
Officials in Maricopa County, where almost all of the people in charge of running elections are Republicans, say they have received death threats and verbal abuse because of the Cyber Ninjas review and Brnovich’s “interim report.” Both of these reports suggest that there was wrongdoing.”
“This was a gross misuse of his elected office and an appalling waste of taxpayer dollars, as well as a waste of the time and effort of professional investigators,” Clint Hickman, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said in a statement.
Brnovich’s investigators did find that Maricopa County officials did not always follow state election rules when filling out forms to show that mail ballots were picked up and moved. But they said the mistakes were just mistakes in the way things were done and that “investigators did not find anything that would have hurt the ballots or the final vote count.”
Investigators talked to two Republican state lawmakers who said in public that they knew about election fraud. They wrote that neither Rep. Mark Finchem nor Sen. Sonny Borrelli repeated their claims to investigators, even though they could have been charged with lying to police if they had. The investigators said that Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers, the third lawmaker, refused to talk to them.
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