Cyber Ninjas, the firm leading the Arizona Senate's audit of Maricopa County's 2020 election, released a list of its "sponsors" on Wednesday after months of criticism over a lack of disclosures about the sources of funding for the controversial review.
Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, said the audit effort received $3.25 million from the America Project, nearly $1 million from America's Future, over $600,000 from Voices and Votes, $550,000 from Defending the Republic, and $280,000 from LDFFTAR/EIFFTAR.
All of the supporters listed are conservative groups, some with Trump allies such as retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell attached to them, a review by the Washington Examiner found. One America News Network host, Christina Bobb, helped raise funds through the nonprofit group Voices and Votes, even as she reported on the audit. Not provided was a breakdown of who gave money to the groups.
The more than $5.7 million in donations was added to the $150,000 paid by the GOP-led state Senate to conduct the inquiry, which has been criticized by Maricopa County officials and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
"As we continue our commitment to transparency, we want to take this opportunity to publicly thank and disclose those organizations that have supported us during this audit," Logan said in a statement. "The American Project has provided over 56% of the total proceeds received to date and America's future has brought in 17%."
"We couldn't have done this without everyone's help," he added.
Earlier in the month, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp questioned Kory Langhofer, an attorney for Senate President Karen Fann, who has resisted releasing donor names. The judge noted Fann hired Cyber Ninjas, an outside firm, to conduct the audit, adding the Prescott Republican has said the inquiry is an "important constitutional duty."
"Isn’t the public entitled to know who’s paying for this, besides the $150,000 the Senate has already appropriated?" the judge asked Langhofer at a hearing in Phoenix.
"That’s a great political argument. They should talk to the Legislature about it," Langhofer responded.
Langhofer indicated the donor records were held only by Cyber Ninjas, not the Arizona legislature. She argued this separation put the state Senate outside of the scope of the state's public records disclosure law.
"The public has a right to know the information that's covered by the Public Records Act but doesn't have a right to know all the information it deems important," Langhofer told the Washington Examiner. "Particularly if that information is not in the custody of the government."
American Oversight, a left-leaning watchdog group, sued the Arizona Senate for records of the audit in May.
“If President Fann had kept her promise to run a transparent process, we wouldn’t be forced to go to court today,” Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement. “Instead, President Fann is playing a legal shell game — insisting that the audit is official state business when it needs to issue subpoenas, then keeping it at arm’s length to duck transparency laws.”
Officials involved with the audit have predicted a report on the review's findings will be released later this summer.
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Original Author: Jake Dima
Original Location: Maricopa election audit donor list released