OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The Arizona Attorney General has escalated the fight over Arizona’s Maricopa County’s refusal to comply with an election audit subpoena issued by the state Senate.
The State Attorney General’s office has ordered Maricopa County to do as it says or lose its state funding. State funding provides for nearly a third of the county’s budget.
In a statement late last week, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that Maricopa County, which is the fourth largest in the state’s population, is in violation of state law by its refusal to comply with the request for internet routers in the 2020 election audit and review of former President Donald Trump’s loss.
The Washington Examiner reports that in Brnovich’s ruling, “Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is in violation of state law for failing to comply with the Arizona Senate’s legislative subpoena related to the 2020 election audit. If MCBOS does not change course, the AGO will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold Maricopa County’s state-shared funds as required under the law.”
State and county estimates show that Arizona provides around $700,000,000 each year to Maricopa County, providing over a quarter of its $2.7 billion budget.
The state Attorney General opened his investigation into the county earlier in August.
“We are notifying the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it must fully comply with the Senate’s subpoena as required by the law. Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed,” said Brnovich.
In Arizona, President Joe Biden defeated Trump by a mere 10,457 votes and has become the focus for a national effort to audit the votes following the election.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen have repeatedly pushed Maricopa County and Dominion voting systems, which provided the technology used in the election, to produce internet routers, traffic logs, mail-in ballot envelopes, and other pertinent data for the investigation.
Maricopa County has thus far refused to provide the requested documents and equipment.
Brnovich, as reported by The Examiner, gave Maricopa 30 days to comply with the demand.
The Senate’s subpoena powers have both been backed by the Attorney General’s office and state courts.
The memo he provided reads as follows:
Today’s decision stems from a ‘SB 1487’ complaint filed by Senator Sonny Borrelli under A.R.S. § 41-194.01, which authorizes any legislator to request the Attorney General investigate a county or city alleged to be in violation of state law. On July 26, 2021, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Senator Warren Petersen (Senators) issued a subpoena to MCBOS related to the Senate’s audit of the 2020 election. The Senators requested six categories of items for production by August 2, 2021, including routers, splunk and network logs.
MCBOS objected to the requested information, and to date, has not provided all of the subpoenaed materials. Moreover, in its response to the AGO, MCBOS failed to explain why it is not required to comply with the legislative subpoena. Its only response was that the Arizona Senate is not currently in session, so MCBOS could not be held in contempt.
If MCBOS fails to resolve the violation within 30 days, the AGO, in accordance with state law, will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold state revenue from Maricopa County until MCBOS complies.
Brnovich said that he is not seeing any results from the Senate’s audit of the election, noting that the audit is still underway.
“At this time, the AGO has not received any report related to the Senate’s audit, but stands ready to review the official findings and any information submitted after a final report is completed by the Senate,” he said in the memo.