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Editor’s Thought Bubble: GOP senators want to arrest people to prove the Big Lie

By: - February 4, 2021 9:25 am

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Any notion that the Republican Party was no longer beholden to Trump now that he isn’t president and doesn’t wield the bully pulpit afforded by the office (or by Twitter) was laid to rest yesterday by the Arizona Senate. In service of the Big Lie that Trump really won the election but it was stolen from him, all 16 Republicans co-sponsored a resolution to arrest the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for contempt because they have gone to court to challenge a Senate subpoena for all 2.1 million ballots and all of the county’s elections equipment.

The county contends that the subpoena both exceeds the Senate’s powers and seeks to compel the county to break state law — and that the Senate ultimately wants the materials so *it* can break state law by conducting its own recount of the November election, in pursuit of evidence to back up the Big Lie.

And it’s clear that is what the Senate hopes to do: It has told Maricopa County that it will hire a disreputable firm that has ties to the Trump campaign and has helped invent and spread some of the undeniably false stories that form the base of the Big Lie.

Some of those senators may tell themselves or anyone who will listen that their support of contempt is because they need to defend the Senate’s authority. But since that authority is embroiled in a lawsuit and will be resolved by the courts — you know, that whole “checks and balances” thing that is essential to America — that explanation is little more than a red herring.

The GOP-led county board committed the cardinal sin of saying the election was fair and Trump lost. That can’t be tolerated in Trump’s Republican Party, and each of those 16 GOP senators know that, so they’ve chosen to arrest people to keep the Big Lie alive.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.