The FBI subpoenaed Karen Fann and Kelly Townsend for information on the January 6 insurrection

By: - June 30, 2022 4:55 pm

Senate President Karen Fann speaks to a crowd of Republicans who believe the 2020 election was rife with fraud after the Senate released results of its “audit,” which found no evidence of fraud. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Mesa Republican Senator Kelly Townsend were subpoenaed by the FBI for an on-going investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged pressure campaign on state officials to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. 

“President Fann received a FOIA in the form of a subpoena by the FBI as part of the Biden Administration’s political theatrics as they look into ‘January 6,’” Kim Quintero, Director of Communications for Arizona Senate Republicans said in a statement to the Arizona Mirror. “Nonetheless, President Fann is fully cooperating in releasing whatever emails and text messages they are requesting.” 

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Fann, a Prescott Republican, hired and helped lead the “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 Presidential election results. She was also in communication with a number of Trump allies such as OANN correspondent Christina Bobb — who also worked for the Trump campaign and sent emails to Fann on behalf of Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani in December 2020 that included witness declarations, statements and expert testimony. Bobb’s non-profit would also supply volunteers for the “audit” itself as well as funding. 

Quintero also confirmed that Townsend, a staunch supporter of the “audit” efforts and bogus election fraud claims, was issued a similar subpoena. Quintero said she is not aware of any other senator who wsa issued a subpoena. 

“We have no reason to believe (Fann and Townsend) will be called to testify in Washington D.C.,” Quintero said. “The documents expressly say that she is not to comment on the matter, so this is all we can release at this time.”

The Arizona Capitol Times reported that Fann said there is a “list” of lawmakers who received a subpoena. 

A Republican spokesman for the Arizona House of Representatives said he was unaware whether any members of that chamber had also been subpoenaed. 

The subpoenas follow a string of other subpoenas to other high profile Arizona politicos who have found themselves enmeshed in election fraud claims and other legal battles. 

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward was issued a subpoena by the Department of Justice last week along with other Arizonans who signed onto a document that would have sent fake electors to Congress on Jan. 6.

Politico first broke the news of Ward and her husband Michael being subject of a subpoena, citing an unnamed source who was familiar with the case but could not speak publicly. Alexander Kolodin, the Wards’ attorney and an attorney for both the Arizona Senate and Cyber Ninjas, confirmed to the Arizona Republic that he was representing them in the matter.

The Washington Post also reported that Arizonans Nancy Cottle and Loraine Pellegrino, who signed the false elector document as chair and secretary, were also served subpoenas in the matter.

This is not the first subpoena that Cottle, Pellegrino or Ward have faced. All three have been issued subpoenas by the House Select Committee investigating the riot on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, with Ward’s phone records specifically being sought by the committee. The Wards have filed a countersuit on the initial subpoena by the committee in federal court in Phoenix, which is still pending.

The document at the heart of the matter, which led the DOJ to issue a subpoena, involves 11 Arizona Republicans who met at the state party headquarters to falsely declare themselves the state’s official presidential electors.

The document created a second set of electors for former President Donald J. Trump and included former and currently elected members of the Arizona legislature.

Rep. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek, was one of those electors. Hoffman would later go on to own a business that looks and acts identical to the email campaign platform utilized by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to email 29 Arizona lawmakers asking them not to certify the election results.

Former Rep. Anthony Kern, who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, was also one of the electors, along with Senate Candidate Jim Lamon and Turning Point Action head Tyler Bowyer.

The subpoena appears to be part of a larger investigation into Trump allies and associates and their role in the Jan. 6 riot.

***UPDATE: This story was updated to include a comment from a House of Representatives spokesman.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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