Arizona AG Hid Findings Refuting Election Fraud Claims

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mark-brnovich.jpg mark brnovich Abortion Arizona - Credit: Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun/AP
mark-brnovich.jpg mark brnovich Abortion Arizona - Credit: Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun/AP

Former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich failed to report evidence disproving claims of election fraud in the state, instead releasing a letter in April 2022 alleging “serious vulnerabilities” in the states voting systems, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Brnovich, then a Republican candidate in the Arizona Republican Senate primary, omitted findings from his office’s investigation refuting claims of election fraud and misconduct in the 2020 election from the version of the report he submitted to the state Senate.

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The internal draft reports, provided to the Post by current Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes, reveal how Arizona’s top prosecutor publicly supported former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, and fomented conspiratorial innuendo regarding his election loss, in spite of the findings of his own investigation.

Brnovich’s interim report, delivered via letter on April 6 to pro-Trump Senate President Karen Fann, stated that the AG’s investigation had uncovered “problematic system wide issues that relate to early ballot handling and verification.” In a draft version of the letter provided to the Post, Brnovich’s staff contradicted his language, writing in an edit suggestion that they “did not uncover any criminality or fraud having been committed in this area during the 2020 general election.” Staff also contradicted claims by Brnovich that Maricopa County officials had been uncooperative throughout the course of the investigation.

The final draft of the letter also excluded a 24-page summary detailing the findings of the department’s investigation into various allegations of fraud, including conspiratorial claims about signature verification, ballot drop box collection, and an unaccounted for excess of voters. The summary debunked virtually all of the claims investigated, and identified only a handful of minor procedural issues that had no effect on ballot integrity.

In August, Brnovich released a letter indicating that claims from the pro-Trump auditing group “Cyber Ninjas” that hundreds of dead individuals had voted in the election were unfounded. The review of a total of 409 alleged “dead voters” found that there were only a “handful of potential cases,” only one of which could be conclusively linked to a dead voter. Shortly after the letter was published, a chief special agent in Brnovich’s office drafted a memo outlining how “no evidence of election fraud, manipulation of the election process, or any instances of organized/coordinated fraud was provided by any of the complaining parties.”

The memo’s findings were not made public, and Brnovich left office without producing a final report regarding his investigation into the 2020 election.

Mayes told the Post that she released the communications in an effort to bring transparency to the process conducted under Brnovich. “Maricopa County election officials had a right to know that they were cleared of wrongdoing,” she said. “And every American had a right to know that the 2020 election in Arizona, which in part decided the presidency, was conducted accurately and fairly.”

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