Arizona Attorney General Tells Maricopa County: Give Up Election Information or Lose State’s $700 Million

In a major escalation in the fight over Arizona’s Maricopa County’s refusal to comply with a Senate election audit subpoena, the state attorney general’s office ordered the county to give in or lose its state funding, which provides nearly a third of the county’s budget.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that the county, America’s fourth largest in population, is violating state law by not complying with the Senate’s request for routers in its 2020 election audit and review of former President Donald Trump’s loss,

The finding means the supervisors have until Sept. 27 to comply or face the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars of sales-tax revenue the state shares with the county.

The supervisors contended they did not break any laws because the Senate had no ability to enforce its subpoena powers once the legislative session ended on June 30. But the Attorney General investigation found that argument only speaks to a remedy to enforcing a subpoena and does not address the fact that ignoring a subpoena is illegal.

Brnovich said, “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.”

According to county and state estimates, the state provides about $700 million a year to the county, over a quarter of its $2.7 billion budget, said a recent story by Paul Bedard in The Washington Examiner.

In a statement, Brnovich added, “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.”

The state, which Biden won by just 10,457 votes, has been ground zero for the national election audit effort.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen have pressed the county and Dominion Voting Systems to produce routers, traffic logs, mail-in ballot envelopes, and other information in their investigation. The county has refused.

Meanwhile, Brnovich said on a related issue that he has not seen any results from the Senate’s audit of the election. “The Arizona Audit of the 2020 election 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,” said the memo.

Read Brnovich’s memo here.

Posted Aug. 27, 2021

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