GOP leader behind Arizona election audit touted Trump phone call in newly released emails
- New emails detail the efforts by Trump and Giuliani to challenge the 2020 Arizona election results.
- State Sen. Karen Fann boasted of a call from Trump over the GOP push to “prove any fraud.”
- Fann acknowledged in an email to a constituent that Biden had indeed won the election.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
GOP state Senate President Karen Fann revealed that then-President Donald Trump called gave her a phone call to encourage legislators to push for an audit of electoral ballots in Maricopa County, according to newly released emails.
The emails, which were obtained by the nonprofit legal watchdog group American Oversight through a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the former president’s personal lawyer at the time, were in frequent contact with GOP lawmakers.
The records indicated that Fann spoke with Giuliani during the weeks after the 2020 presidential election, with the GOP leader boasting that she had conversed with the former New York City mayor “at least 6 times over the past two weeks.”
“I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy over the past weeks trying to get this done,” she wrote in another email on Dec. 28, 2020. “I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.”
Fann also reached out to Trump’s team in late November to ask for any evidence of “rampant fraud.”
“No suit has been filed nor was a suit filed to contest the certification process,” she wrote. “I also want to get to the bottom of all this.”
After being criticized by a constituent for supporting an audit, Fann acknowledged that President Joe Biden had indeed won the presidential election in Arizona.
“Biden won … 45% of all Arizona voters thinks there is a problem with the election system. The audit is to disprove those theories or find ways to improve the system,” she wrote in an email last month.
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Last year, Biden became the first Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton in 1996 to secure the state’s electoral votes, edging out Trump by 10,457 votes out of nearly 3.4 million votes cast.
Republicans in the state are carrying out a partisan audit of the results in Maricopa County, which for generations was one of the most populous GOP-leaning urban centers in the entire country. When Biden won Arizona last year, he also carried Maricopa by a 50% to 48% margin.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who announced her bid for governor this week, has repeatedly criticized the audit process and questioned the competency of the legislators who continue to challenge the election results.
“There’s really nothing going on here that gives any confidence that they’re going to produce a report that is valid,” she told The Hill earlier this week. “They’re not going to produce results that are going to be able to be replicated. They don’t know what they’re doing and they didn’t have a clue how long it was going to take them to do this.”
She added: “Right now, our state government is being run by conspiracy theorists who are more focused on political posturing than getting things done, and that needs to change.”
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