Mark Brnovich should investigate fake electors. So he can look in the mirror again

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has refused to investigate the state's fake electors. But after the election, and his campaign is done, he'll have plenty of free time.

In March 2021, a Georgia prosecutor asked a judge to impanel a special grand jury to investigate efforts by then-President Donald Trump to sway the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in that state.

Meanwhile, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich … didn’t. This, even though White House and Trump campaign officials also pressured Arizona’s Republican leaders to change the outcome of the election. Three months later, he would announce that he was running for the Senate.

In May, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced she was broadening her investigation to look into that state’s fake 16 fake electors who signed bogus documents falsely claiming that Trump won Georgia.

Meanwhile in Arizona, Brnvoich … didn’t. This, even though Arizona had fake electors, too – 11 of them. Brnovich, after all, was still chasing Trump’s endorsement in a crowded Senate Republican primary.

Brnovich has deferred to the feds so far

Last week, Willis notified Georgia’s fake electors – including the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party – that they are targets of the Fulton County grand jury investigation and may face criminal charges for their role in­ attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, Brnovich … didn’t. Apparently, our attorney general has no questions for Arizona’s fake electors – including state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward – about their scheme to steal Arizona’s vote.

Office goes partisan: AG updates changed after Brnovich began Senate bid

Next Wednesday, when the election is over, he should start asking questions.

Thus far, the attorney general who seems to sue the Biden administration every few days is deferring to the Biden administration about Arizona’s fake electors.

“The U.S. Justice Department is exercising original jurisdiction to examine the complaints,” his office said, in a statement earlier this month to The Arizona Republic’s Robert Anglen. “Accordingly, if you have any questions about the criminal investigation, please contact the Department of Justice.”

At least four fake electors, including Ward and her husband, Michael, were hit with federal grand jury subpoenas last month. But there’s no indication whether they are targets and no reason not to mount a parallel investigation into possible violations of state law.

He sang a different tune in July 2020

Once upon a time, Brnovich enforced state laws.

In fact, just two short years ago, back when he wasn’t running for anything, Brnovich frowned upon things like fraud and presidential electors who ignore the will of the people.

In July 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the states have the authority to require electors to abide by the state’s popular vote. The case stemmed from the 2016 election, when rogue electors in Colorado and Washington ignored the will of the people and cast their Electoral College votes for a different candidate.

Today’s ruling is about respecting the will of the voters,” Brnovich said at the time. “Our elections must never be thrust into chaos by rogue actors failing to carry out their responsibilities. Respecting the authority of states to bind presidential electors to the will of the voters is a big victory for Arizona and our country.”

Under Arizona law, a presidential elector must, by law, follow the will of the voters.

Arizona’s fake electors followed the will of Donald Trump and his attorney, John Eastman, who schemed up the plot to overthrow a democratically elected president.

Fake electors seemed to break state law

We’ve known that since September when Eastman’s two-page memo surfaced, detailing his step-by-step plan for how Arizona and six other states would submit “dual” sets of electors, allowing then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election or at least throw it into Congress, where Republicans could then declare Trump the winner.

Even the Arizona Republican Party’s attorney knew what they were doing was as phony as a $3 bill as he helped Team Trump flesh out the plan.

We would just be sending in ‘fake’ electoral votes to Pence so that ‘someone’ in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes, and start arguing that the ‘fake’ votes should be counted,” wrote Phoenix attorney Jack Wilenchik, in a Dec. 8, 2020, email to Boris Epshteyn, a Trump adviser who also was working on the plan.

In a follow-up email, Wilenchik wrote that “‘alternative’ votes is probably a better term than ‘fake’ votes.”

Wilenchik is the lawyer who helped convene Arizona’s phony electors, who on Dec. 14, 2020, met at state GOP headquarters and signed the paperwork to submit to Congress.

“WE THE UNDERSIGNED, being duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Arizona, do hereby certify the following.”

Then they each signed their names, casting Arizona’s votes for a man Arizona didn’t elect.

There's still time to act like attorney general

Next week, when the primary election is over and Brnovich is once again free to resume working for the people, No. 1 on his to-do list should be to investigate the outrage of the Arizonans who tried to steal Arizona’s vote.

For years, we’ve been hearing demands for perp walks in the aftermath of Arizona’s 2020 election.

Maybe it’s high time we see some.


Here is a list of Arizona’s fake electors:

Tyler Bowyer, a top executive with Turning Point USA who also sits on the Republican National Committee; Nancy Cottle, chair of the electors; state Rep. Jake Hoffman; Anthony Kern, a former state representative now running for the state Senate; U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon; Robert Montgomery, chairman of the Cochise County Republican Party; Samuel Moorhead, second vice chair of the Gila County Republican Party; Loraine Pellegrino, secretary of the electors; Greg Safsten, executive director of the Arizona Republican Party; Kelli Ward, the state GOP chair; and Michael Ward, Kelli Ward’s husband and a GOP activist.

Reach Roberts at Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Mark Brnovich can redeem himself, investigate Arizona's fake electors