More than anything else, the disclosure last week of who has paid nearly $6 million for the embarrassingly incompetent so-called “audit” of the Maricopa County election blows to smithereens the insistence from Senate President Karen Fann that the audit isn’t about Donald Trump.
Not that there was still any reason to believe her protestations that the reason was restoring confidence in elections — if one was ever foolish enough to do so — after Trump himself spent some 15 minutes at a Phoenix rally on July 24 crowing about the fraud the “audit” was destined to find. That’s important, after all, since it would prove he really wasn’t rejected by a sizeable number of Republican voters because of a pandemic mismanagement that bordered on murderous.
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“The facts are coming out, the truth is being uncovered and the crime of the century is being fully exposed,” Trump declared at the rally.
Fann’s “audit,” Trump continued, has discovered “monumental” evidence of fraud. The twice-impeached former president latched onto a bogus assertion by the unqualified people Fann hired to review the election that some 74,000 early ballots were cast by voters who never requested one.
“More than 74,000. Now, I lost by about 10,000 (votes). We didn’t lose, we won. By a lot. They say we lost,” Trump told the 5,000 people in attendance. “We can’t let this happen. … This is only the beginning of the irregularities the Arizona audit is uncovering.”
Even Fann’s own colleagues openly acknowledge that the “audit” is solely aimed at changing the outcome of the election to benefit Trump. Take Sen. Wendy Rogers, who is the GOP vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee that has issued the subpoenas that enabled the election review. After the latest briefing from the Cyber Ninjas and their crack team of cosplay sleuths, Rogers said their misleading statements and outright lies were all she needed to hear to demand that Trump be given a do-over.
And another Judiciary Committee member, Lake Havasu City’s Sonny Borrelli, boasted to Trump on Twitter (back before the ex-president was expelled for rhetoric that incited a deadly attempt to overthrow the government) that the “audit” was being launched to prove that he was cheated in Arizona.
Of course, we can’t forget about Fann herself, who boasted to an angry constituent — one who threatened to recall her from office for not overturning the election — that she’d been in direct contact with Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, about the self-styled “forensic audit.”
“I have the full support of (Giuliani) and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud,” Fann wrote.
The revelation that conspiracy-peddling pro-Trump groups have collectively funneled almost $6 million to the conspiracy-peddling pro-Trump man heading up the “audit” is hardly a surprise. But it also makes damn clear that the purpose isn’t to “restore confidence in our elections” in any noble kind of sense, but is instead a gross attempt to do the exact opposite: to ensure that Trump supporters are less trusting of any election in which their beloved and holy leader doesn’t win by wide margins.
And it leaves Fann’s repeated declarations that the election review isn’t about Trump little more than a smoking crater.
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