Arizona secretary of state seeks investigation into Trump, allies

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) is calling on state Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) to look into reports that former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE and his allies attempted to make contact with election supervisors in Maricopa County in the weeks following the November election.

Hobbs, in a request sent via email Wednesday and shared on Twitter, cited reporting by the Arizona Republic, which detailed attempts by the former president to contact Republican Maricopa Supervisor Clint Hickman on two separate occasions following the election. 

According to the Republic, attempts to contact election supervisors were also made by Trump allies, including Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, Trump personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story Juan Williams: The toxic legacy of Trump's corruption MORE and lawyer Sidney Powell. 

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Hobbs in her letter recalled a report that Ward told the chairman of the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 7 as votes were still being tallied, “We need you to stop the counting,” and later reportedly told him, “I know you don't want to be remembered as the guy who led the charge to certify a fraudulent election.”

The Arizona secretary of state urged Brnovich to “investigate and take appropriate enforcement action” against what she called “potential violations of Arizona’s election laws.”

She added that a person can be charged with a felony for “knowingly” interfering “in any manner with an officer of such election in the discharge of the officer’s duty,” or influencing an election officer “to violate or refuse to comply with the officer’s duty or any law regulating the election.” 

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Hobbs, who is currently running for governor of Arizona while Brnovich is running for Senate, went on to tell the state attorney general, “As you said just last week, ‘Fair elections are the cornerstone of our republic, and they start with rational laws that protect both the right to vote and the accuracy of the results.’ ” 

“Arizona law protects election officials from those who would seek to interfere with their sacred duties to ascertain and certify the will of the voters,” she added. 

Hobbs said that if Brnovich’s “ethical duties prevent you from investigating this matter, I ask that you refer it to another enforcement agency.” 

The request comes amid an ongoing election recount in Maricopa County, which Hobbs and other Democrats and election experts have argued lacks merit and is riddled with security issues. 

The audit was pushed by Arizona Senate Republicans, based on unfounded election claims by Trump and his allies who assert widespread fraud led to his election loss in the state and in the general election at large.

The firm overseeing the recount, Cyber Ninjas, has had no prior experience in auditing elections.