Trump supporters raise $ 5.7 million for Arizona election audit – .

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Trump supporters raise $ 5.7 million for Arizona election audit – .


PHOENIX – Groups linked to prominent supporters of former US President Donald Trump’s movement to cast doubt on the 2020 election results have raised more than $ 5.7 million for the election audit of Republicans in the Arizona, according to figures released Wednesday night.

Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber ​​Ninjas, the little-known firm hired to lead the audit, ended months of silence over who was paying and how much it cost. Money from pro-Trump groups eclipses the $ 150,000 donated by the Arizona Senate, which commissioned the audit and hired Cyber ​​Ninjas.

Among those leading the fundraising groups are Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser; Sydney Powell, his lawyer who has filed a number of baseless lawsuits challenging the election results; Patrick Byrne, former Managing Director of Overstock.com; and correspondents from the pro-Trump One America News Network.

Republican Senate Speaker Karen Fann said the audit was only meant to determine whether improvements were needed to the state’s election laws. But the audit has long been associated with the ‘stop the theft’ movement, and Trump predicted he would uncover evidence to back up his discredited theories about fraud.

Prior to being hired to lead the audit, Logan promoted Trump’s false narrative that the election was stolen from him, and pro-Trump media aggressively promoted the effort.

By far the biggest funder is The America Project, led by Byrne, which Logan says has so far contributed $ 3.25 million. America’s Future, which appoints Flynn as president, has 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 donated $ 550,000. The United States Republic Election Integrity Fund, which Logan says is headed by attorney Matthew DePerno, contributed $ 280,000. DePerno unsuccessfully sued County Antrim, Michigan for the election.

Logan said several of the groups “also provided essential operational support and advice in performing the audit.”

It is still unclear where these groups got their money. They are organized as non-profit organizations and do not have to disclose their donors.

Logan has fought to keep donors a secret, although he admitted at the start of the audit that his $ 150,000 contract with the Senate would not cover the cost of the work the Senate hired him to do. . He released the numbers on the deadline for him to voluntarily comply with a request for information, including donor information, from the US House Oversight and Reform Committee. Several lawsuits involving public records are also requesting information from the Senate and Cyber ​​Ninjas.

The fundraising disclosure came the same day a key audit figure said he planned to step down, then turned the tide and said he made a deal to stay.

Former Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the Senate’s unpaid liaison with Logan and audit contractors, was the only audit official with substantial election experience. His departure threatened to further erode the legitimacy of the unprecedented partisan post-election scrutiny.

Bennett was banned from the building where the audit takes place because he provided data to outside election experts without informing the Senate leader or Logan. He said he would not put his name behind the audit without full access.

“It’s the audit that belongs to the people of Arizona, and if I put my credibility on the line it’s something they can trust and believe in, I can’t be ruled out until the last moment.” Bennett said. Tory radio host James Harris told KFYI-AM.

Bennett later said in a text message that he had reached an agreement with Fann, the Speaker of the Senate, to stay, but did not disclose the details.

The audit has been criticized by election experts who say Cyber ​​Ninjas and other contractors are biased and use unusual procedures that will not produce reliable results.

The county supervisory board met privately on Wednesday to discuss a new subpoena issued by the Senate this week for documents related to the election. Subsequently, President Jack Sellers, a Republican, said the board “has discussed various options with our legal counsel and will take the next few days to do our research.”

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