Maricopa County officials are asking for the preservation of all materials from the state Senate’s audit of the 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county ahead of possible legal action.
A letter was sent on Friday to Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann, who ordered the audit earlier this month, with a litigation hold notice and document preservation request.
“It is clear the Arizona Senate and its contractors do not intend to retract false allegations defaming the County and its employees. For that reason, Maricopa County is formally requesting Senate President Fann, Senator Peterson, Senate liaison Ken Bennett, and contractors involved in the “audit” preserve documents and evidence as they may be subject to future legal claims,” wrote Jack Sellers, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
Sellers added that he felt the audit was “unfortunate,” noting that it was never voted on by the full Senate. The chairman also alluded to earlier this week, when Maricopa County officials rejected the GOP-led Arizona Senate’s request for them to appear at a Tuesday hearing on the audit and criticized Cyber Ninjas, the private firm hired to lead the review.
“I will repeat what I said at the press conference on Monday: finish your report and be prepared to defend it and your actions related to this ‘audit’ in court,” Sellers said.
Fann has insisted the audit is meant to restore public trust in voting systems and influence potential changes to the law, rather than overturn the contest results, which were disputed by former President Donald Trump and other top Republicans as being fraudulent. The audit began after the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, found that the state’s Senate Republicans’ subpoenas of election materials and equipment are “legal and enforceable.”
Democrats, including Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and some Republicans have criticized the way the Legislature’s audit has been conducted and brought up two other audits that were previously conducted for the county board that showed no irregularities in the latest presidential election.
Following a week’s pause, the Arizona Senate’s audit is scheduled to restart next week, and organizers said this week they expect it to wrap up by the end of June.