Hobbs urges state bar to conduct ethics review of former Arizona attorney general

Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) is urging the Arizona State Bar to launch an ethics investigation of former state Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) following a report that he worked to hide a report that refuted false claims of voter fraud affecting the state’s elections in 2020.

Bo Dul, the general counsel for Hobbs’s office, said in a letter to the chief counsel of the state bar obtained by The Washington Post that Brnovich’s conduct was “harmful to our democracy, our State, and the legal profession itself.”

Dul directed the state bar to review files related to Brnovich’s conduct on the website for the state attorney general’s office.

“I urge the State Bar to review these files and take any appropriate action,” Dul said.

The letter comes after the Post reported on Wednesday that internal documents show Brnovich kept a March 2022 report that concluded claims of mistakes and wrongdoing were without merit private. Brnovich had begun an investigation into voting in Maricopa County, where some allies for former President Trump claimed voter fraud had cost him victory in the state, about a year after the election.

The former AG released an interim report in April 2022 that claimed that voting in the county was “broke,” but it did not include edits from those investigating that would have refuted his claims. He eventually organized an “Election Review Summary” in September that stated that evidence had not been presented to back up voter fraud claims, but it was not released before Brnovich’s term in office ended last month.

Multiple audits and lawsuits filed in the aftermath of the 2020 election showed no evidence existed to back up claims from Trump and his supporters that widespread voter fraud or procedural issues cost him victory in Arizona or any other state.

The Post reported that the state bar said it has received at least eight complaints against Brnovich related to his investigation of voting in the 2020 election.

Brnovich denied the allegations that he hid the final report in a statement, reportedly telling local media outlets that he was pleased with the work his office did on “election integrity.”

“While subjected to severe criticism from all sides of the political spectrum during the course of our investigations, we did our due diligence to run all complaints to ground,” he said. “Where we were able to debunk rumors and conspiracies, we did so.”

“Nevertheless, we also identified areas we believe the legislature and county officials should address to ensure confidence in future elections,” he added.

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