Supporters of Former President Trump are putting up their own money to fund the historic election audit currently underway in Arizona.
Nearly $6 million has been raised thus far, and this is only the beginning.
Among those leading the fundraising groups are Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor; Sydney Powell, his attorney who filed a number of ultimately unsuccessful suits challenging election results; Patrick Byrne, a former chief executive of Overstock.com; and correspondents from the One America News Network.
The confirmation that the audit is being overwhelmingly funded by groups promoting narratives of voter tampering is likely to fuel the skepticism of critics who’ve waved off the audit as of dubious value. Critics have deried Cyber Ninjas as a biased firm using questionable procedures to conduct the vote review.
Republican Senate President Karen Fann says the audit is only meant to see whether improvements are needed to state election laws. But the audit has long been associated with the “stop the steal” movement, and Trump has predicted it will uncover evidence to support his theories of fraud. Officials in other states have been pressing for similar vote reviews in the wake of the contentious election.
Before he was hired to lead the audit, Logan promoted Trump’s narrative that the election was stolen from him.
By far the largest funder is The America Project, led by Byrne, which Logan said has so far contributed $3.25 million. America’s Future, which lists Flynn as its chairman, contributed just over $976,000. Voices and Votes, led by OANN correspondents Christina Bobb and Chanel Rion, contributed $605,000; and Powell’s Defending the Republic gave $550,000. Election Integrity Funds for the American Republic, which Logan said is led by attorney Matthew DePerno, contributed $280,000. DePerno unsuccessfully sued Antrim County, Michigan, over the election.
A news release from Cyber Ninjas said the audit received $5,711,514.43 in outside donations, but the itemized list of amounts contributed by each of the five groups adds up to $50,000 less. A spokesman for Cyber Ninjas, Rod Thomson, did not respond to an email seeking clarification on the seeming discrepancy.
The auditors on Thursday began returning the 2.1 million ballots and election equipment to Maricopa County, three months after they were delivered to the state fairgrounds for a review that was originally expected to take 60 days.
Fann and Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen this week issued new subpoenas demanding more information as well as materials they say the Senate withheld from the original demand.
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, said the board members are discussing their options with their lawyers and expect to say more within the next week.
Author: Asa McCue