An Arizona court is going to decide whether to hold the state Senate in contempt for failing to hand over documents from the Cyber Ninjas ‘audit’


Arizona election recount audit
A contractor working for Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate transports ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images
  • The Arizona state Senate has failed to release documents related to a partisan election review.

  • A court will decide December 2 whether to hold the state Senate in contempt.

  • Audits have confirmed President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state.

An Arizona court is set to decide early next month whether to hold the Republican-led state Senate in contempt for failing to hand over documents related to the partisan, Cyber Ninjas review of ballots cast in the 2020 election.

On Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp set a hearing for December 2 to address the lack of compliance with his earlier ruling that the documents should be handed over.

Attorneys for the state Senate, which commissioned the review of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots, have said some of the documents are protected by “legislative privilege,” an argument the court rejected last month.

“[I]t is hard to imagine more serious litigation than the disclosure of documents underlying an audit of the election of the President of the United States and a United States Senator,” Judge Kemp wrote at the time. “This goes to the heart of our democracy and this audit was done in response to allegations of fraud and corruption.”

The controversial, GOP-led audit of Arizona’s election results further confirmed President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory over Donald Trump. Republicans in Arizona’s state Senate commissioned Cyber Ninjas to helm the audit in April 2021 after Biden became the first Democrat to win in Maricopa County since 1948.

The state Senate’s legal team has also shifted blame to Cyber Ninjas for failing to hand over all the documents in related to its planning for the ballot review, which failed to uncover any of the vote-rigging the company’s founder alleged prior to the undertaking.

The legal fight over “audit” documents is a product of litigation brought by American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group. The Arizona Republic, a Phoenix newspaper, has also sued over the documents, which a Maricopa County judge has ruled are public records.

“Despite their attorney’s insistence that this is ‘not the Senate’s problem,’ the Senate has been ordered repeatedly and unambiguously to release these records,” Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement. “Every day they fail to do so makes their disregard for the public and the law more obvious.”

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