FBI subpoenas records of Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, state Sen. Kelly Townsend

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend (top) and Arizona Senate President Karen Fann.
Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend (top) and Arizona Senate President Karen Fann.

The FBI has issued subpoenas to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and state Sen. Kelly Townsend, compelling them to release records believed related to former President Donald Trump's effort to stay in power after losing the 2020 election.

Fann, the longtime Republican lawmaker from Prescott who ordered the partisan review of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, told The Arizona Republic the FBI issued a Freedom of Information Act request "in the form of a subpoena for my emails and communications. I'm instructed not to discuss."

She wouldn't confirm another report stating that the probe sought records about contacts from Trump and his team following the November 2020 election. But she added, "pretty sure everything they've asked for has already been foiaed numerous times over the past 18 months," using an acronym for the information act.

Democracy in doubt: The origins of the Arizona election review

The Yellow Sheet, a political newsletter, first reported the subpoenas.

In mid-November 2020, Fann told House Speaker Rusty Bowers that Trump's advocates had called her repeatedly, encouraging her to help him find a way to get ahead of Joe Biden in Arizona, where Trump lost by about 10,500 votes.

Public records also show that on Dec. 28, Fann told a constituent she was in “numerous conversations with Rudy Giuliani over the past weeks trying to get this done. I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud."

Townsend, who lives in Apache Junction and has served in the Legislature since 2013, told The Republic that she had received a subpoena but did not comment further. She told 12 News that the FBI sought communications records with Trump's lawyers and that she and her staff were complying.

Last week, Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the state Republican Party and her husband Michael, were subpoenaed by the Department of Justice regarding their roles in creating and attempting to submit a slate of fake electors for the November 2020 election.

The Washington Post last week reported that two of the other 11 fake electors — Loraine Pellegrino and Nancy Cottle — also received subpoenas from a federal grand jury. The two women were subpoenaed earlier this year by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The congressional panel also subpoenaed the Wards for their phone records, which the couple is fighting in federal court. The case is pending.

The congressional panel in February subpoenaed Kelli Ward for her testimony and documents as well as state Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley. Finchem had convened an informal panel to dispute the results of the 2020 presidential election, a meeting that was attended by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other members of Trump’s team.

Reach the reporter at rstern@arizonarepublic.com or 480-276-3237. Follow him on Twitter @raystern.

Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona lawmakers Karen Fann, Kelly Townsend subpoenaed by FBI