Brnovich Tightens The Vice Grip On Maricopa County Supervisors

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich today laid down the law in the case of the missing routers, admin passwords, and hardware keys to complete the forensic audit for the 2020 election. To date, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) has been flat-out non-compliant with their response to the AZ Senate subpoenas. In early August, UncoverDC reported that Republican Senator Sonny Borelli requested that Brnovich investigate the MCBOS failure to comply with the subpoenas. A failure to respond by September 27 will result in the loss of state funding.

Senator Wendy Rogers, who has been a strong proponent of election integrity, posted the tweet below on Thursday.

UncoverDC contacted Rogers, and she responded with the following:

"I support Attorney General Brnovich's decision. The Maricopa Board of Supervisors should have complied months ago instead of dragging this out unnecessarily. Now Maricopa county will suffer from a loss of tens of millions of dollars if their county supervisors don't comply. Their level of obstruction has been unprecedented. It further demonstrates what I have been saying all along—what do they have to hide?"

Rep. Mark Finchem, who is running for Secretary of State in Arizona, wrote this for UncoverDC today:

“I am pleased to see that the Arizona Attorney General has reinforced the rule of law and is compelling a lawless political subdivision to do what it promised to do on December 14, 2020. In fact, I am of the opinion that the entire cost of the audit should be billed back to the county for the delays and legal hoops that the Senate has had to go through just to do its job."

Brnovich released a statement on Thursday which says in part:

"[The] (AGO) determined the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) is in violation of state law for failing to comply with the Arizona Senate’s legislative subpoena related to the 2020 election audit. If MCBOS does not change course, the AGO will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold Maricopa County’s state-shared funds as required under the law."

Today’s decision stems from a “SB 1487” complaint filed by Senator Sonny Borrelli under A.R.S. § 41-194.01, which authorizes any legislator to request the Attorney General investigate a county or city alleged to be in violation of state law. On July 26, 2021, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Senator Warren Petersen (Senators) issued a subpoena to MCBOS related to the Senate’s audit of the 2020 election. The Senators requested six categories of items for production by August 2, 2021, including routers and network logs."

AG Brnovich posted his investigative report on the matter on Thursday. He cited a prior Maricopa Superior Court decision whereby “the Senators have the power to subpoena material as part of an inquiry into election reform measures.” The MCBOS chose not to appeal the order and, therefore, "the partial judgment...remains binding on MCBOS and has preclusive effect between MCBOS and the Senate."

The Brnovich report also is specific in its stipulations with its reference to the "production of electronically stored documents."

Brnovich/MCBOS 1487 Report - 8-26 FINAL

Additionally, Brnovich affirms the power of legislative authority in the realm of elections—an important affirmation given what seemed to be a willful disregard for that authority in the 2020 election.

Brnovich/MCBOS 1487 Report - 8-26 FINAL

"Neither confidentiality nor burden nor overbreadth," the report continues, "can excuse MCBOS from responding to a legislative subpoena for purposes of this report." The report also punches a hole in one of the primary arguments set forward by MCBOS, which was to say that the "Senate cannot hold MCBOS in contempt because it is not in session." Brnovich states that not only is that irrelevant, but it fails to negate their violation of state law in their failure to comply. Contempt is also not the only remedy; state funds can and will be withheld with failure to comply.

The MCBOS can "resolve the violation" with the production of required materials, a negotiated settlement with the Senate with regard to which materials should be kept confidential, or the Senate can reach a "judicial resolution" on the matter.

The Arizona Senate received the delayed partial draft report of the forensic audit on Wednesday. The Maricopa County ballot envelope images are not included in the draft report but are now under review. Dr. Kelli Ward explains:

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