The $5.7 million so-called “forensic audit” linked to pro-Donald Trump operatives, bankrolled in part by the former president’s loyalists, and additionally financed by Arizona taxpayers has confirmed the status quo: President Joe Biden won the Grand Canyon State—in their tally, by a wider margin than previously known.
That is the takeaway of a leaked draft report put together by the so-called Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm run by Doug Logan, who was linked to post-election conspiracy theorist Lin Wood.
Together with Sidney Powell, Wood was recently sanctioned for his role in the so-called “Kraken” litigation seeking to overturn the election in Michigan, but the suite of lawsuits also sought to overturn results in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona. All four lawsuits failed, and Wood and Powell both had reported ties to the Arizona audit. Powell’s entity Defending the Republic contributed $550,000 to the enterprise, according to figures disclosed by the firm.
“The #AZAudit draft report from Cyber Ninjas confirms the county’s canvass of the 2020 General Election was accurate and the candidates certified as the winners did, in fact, win,” the official Twitter account of Arizona’s Maricopa County tweeted on Thursday evening, confirming the authenticity of documents uncovered by the Substack newsletter Arizona Agenda.
Run by a firm without any experience auditing elections, Cyber Ninjas spent some sixth months scrutinizing Maricopa County’s vote through methods ranging from the untested to the absurd: searching for watermarks under ultraviolet light, measuring ballot thickness, and inspecting ballots for bamboo fibers.
In the end, the hand count of ballots from the presidential race shaved 261 votes from Trump’s official tally and added 99 to Biden’s—expanding the president’s victory by 360 votes, according to the draft report.
The “Sharpiegate” non-scandal in the days immediately following the 2020 election did not fare any better in the Cyber Ninjas report. The report said that it’s “possible” ballot “bleed-through […] could cause” an incorrect vote or overvote or vote cancelation, but there was no evidence that this happened and “[a]ll immediate indications were that Dominon tabulators read the marks almost exclusively within the oval of the ballot.”
“This finding is rated informational because there were no examples found which would have changed a vote,” a note said, still holding on to the theoretical possibility that “instances exist that were not reviewed.”
Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), who faced down threats for defending the integrity of the 2020 election, called the so-called “audit” an embarrassment.
“The Cyber Ninjas embarrassed Arizona for months, violated voters’ trust, refused transparency, and stuck AZ taxpayers with a multi-million dollar bill,” Hobbs tweeted.
“What’d they find? Biden won,” she added.
Hobbs, who successfully fought in court to scrutinize the supposed auditors, is now running for governor. She told Law&Crime about her litigation, her gubernatorial aspirations and the public blowback for her work on the network’s podcast “Objections.”
“The level of harassment and — just — attacks on my office from every angle has not let up, and there are renewed threats, leading to me having to have a security detail for the second time,” Hobbs said on the podcast. “It’s not part of my job to have that. But it’s the second time in the last six months that it’s happened.”
Despite largely affirming the 2020 presidential election results, the three-volume Cyber Ninjas draft report does attack certain election practices and attempt to cast doubt on their legitimacy in other ways. Maricopa County officials found the report “littered with errors” and “faulty conclusions” about their methodology.
Trump’s political action committee Save America already started spinning the results, touting the leaked draft report as supposed proof of “fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes” to change the outcome of the election. No federal or state court presiding over the more than 60 lawsuits challenging the 2020 election ever found such evidence, and neither did the Cyber Ninjas hand count of ballots in Maricopa County.
“There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated,” Trump falsely claimed in a statement.
Logan, who did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s email requesting comment, is expected to speak at an Arizona State Senate hearing scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The state senate’s president Karen Fann, a staunchly pro-Trump state senator, is also expected to speak.
[Image via Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images]
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