ArizonaAttorney General Mark Brnovich opened an investigation into whether Maricopa County broke the law by refusing to comply with legislative subpoenas issued in connection to the 2020 election audit there, according to a letter made public on Sunday.
Deputy Solicitor General Michael Catlett informed the county’s legal arm in an Aug. 6 letter that the attorney general’s office will look at whether the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors failed “to comply with valid and enforceable legislative subpoenas” as alleged in the complaint, filed by Arizona Senate Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli, which spurred the investigation.
The Aug. 3 complaint alleged a “clear violation of the law” and followed the county’s failure to turn over router access and election materials to the Republican-led state Senate, which had demanded them as part of the audit of the county’s 2020 election.
Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen recently served the county a new subpoena as part of the monthslong audit, demanding router access and network logins for ballot tabulation devices, among other things.
County Chairman Jack Sellers, one of four Republicans on the five-member board, slammed the subpoena as an “attempt to distract attention from their botched audit and conspiracy-obsessed contractors.”
The attorney general’s investigation will determine whether the county violated state law and will take no further action if it is determined that no violation occurred, according to Catlett’s letter.
If Brnovich determines that the county did violate state laws regarding legislative subpoenas, he will notify the county, which then will have 30 days to resolve the violation. Failure to do so would result in the state funds being withheld from the county, Catlett added.
In the event that the investigation determines Maricopa County “may have” violated state law, Brnovich will file an action with the Arizona Supreme Court, Catlett also said.
State Sen. Kelli Ward, the Arizona Republican Party chairwoman, praised the investigation as “a start.” She, along with a number of local and national Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have hailed the audit as necessary to unveil the extent to which alleged mass voter fraud spoiled the 2020 election in Arizona’s most populous county.
At the same time, Democrats and some Republicans, including GOP members of the county’s board, have criticized the audit as having a basis in conspiracies theories and lies about the election being stolen from Trump.
Officials predict a report on the audit’s findings will be released later this summer.