The cabinet leading a widely criticized and Republican-backed audit of the Arizona election ballots has received $ 5.7 million in donations, the majority of Donald Trump supporters, he revealed on Wednesday.
Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company with no previous election audit experience, said it received $ 3.25 million from Patrick Byrne, CEO of furniture sales firm Overstock, who falsely labeled the 2020 election. of “rigged”, with more money. tributary of personalities who have peddled lies about the legitimacy of the vote.
The company was hired by the Arizona GOP-led Senate to review the 2020 election in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and most of Arizona state’s registered voters.
Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, released details of the company’s donors after the House of Congress Oversight and Reform Committee requested the information, citing “Cyber’s lack of experience. Ninjas in Conducting Election-Related Audits ”and“ Sloppy and Insecure Audit Practices ”. ”.
The Arizona Senate allowed Cyber Ninjas to collect private donations even though the company received $ 150,000 for the audit.
Cyber Ninjas information showed he raised $ 976,512.43 from America’s Future, a right-wing nonprofit chaired by Trump ally and QAnon devotee Michael Flynn. The company received $ 605,000 from Voices and Votes run by Christina Bobb, a correspondent for the right-wing media organization One America News Network.
Defend the Republic, a group led by Sidney Powell, the attorney for Trump who has filed a number of baseless lawsuits challenging the election results, has donated $ 550,000.
Logan fought to keep Cyber Ninjas’ backers a secret, although he admitted at the start of the audit that his $ 150,000 contract with the Arizona Senate would not cover the cost of the work for which his company was hired. He released the numbers on the deadline for him to voluntarily comply with Congress’ request for information.
The poll review was ridiculed as a “dummy audit” by Democrats, and even criticized by GOP leaders in Maricopa County. He was condemned by election experts, who said officials were not using a reliable methodology.
On Wednesday, the review came under further scrutiny when Ken Bennett, the former Republican Secretary of State and Senate unpaid liaison with Logan and audit contractors, said he planned to resign.
Bennett is the only chief audit executive with substantial election experience, and his departure threatened to further erode any legitimacy the unprecedented partisan post-election review claimed to have.
Late Wednesday, however, Bennett turned the tide, telling The Associated Press he had come to an agreement to stay.
The Associated Press contributed reports