Firm Behind Trump-Backed Arizona Election 'Audit' Shuts Down After Judge Orders $50,000 Daily Fine
Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired by Arizona’s Republican-led state Senate to conduct a quixotic review of Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential election results, has laid off its employees and is shutting down. “Cyber Ninjas is being shut down,” a company spokesman confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday.
The news comes after Arizona election officials earlier this week released a point-by-point rebuttal of nearly 80 claims in the Cyber Ninjas’ review that were misleading or false, and as Maricopa Superior Court Judge John Hannah found the company in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to turn over audit records to the Arizona Republic as part of a public records request. Judge Hannah imposed a $50,000 daily fine on Cyber Ninjas until the company can produce the requested records.
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Hannah noted that the fine could potentially apply not only to the company as a whole, but to individuals, among them former CEO Doug Logan, an election fraud conspiracy theorist who wrote a paper on behalf of GOP senators objecting to Congress certifying Joe Biden’s election win. That amount was fifty times greater than the $1,000 fine requested by a lawyer for the Arizona Republic.
“The court is not going to accept the assertion that Cyber Ninjas is an empty shell and that no one is responsible for seeing that it complies,” Hannah said.
The Cyber Ninjas saga began with Arizona Republicans hired the firm, which had no experience conducting election audits, to root out potential discrepancies in the state’s 2020 election vote, which President Biden won narrowly. The review turned into a circus over the course of the months before Cyber Ninjas ultimately found that Biden did indeed win the state. Still, the report released by Maricopa County election officials on Wednesday found that Cyber Ninjas’ analysis of what happened included “faulty and inaccurate conclusions” about tens of thousands of votes.
“None of these instances impacted the outcome of races and a thorough review by our election professionals confirmed there were no systemic issues related to ballot counting and processing in the November 2020 General Election,” read the county report.
As of last summer, Cyber Ninjas had received $5.7 million in donations, mostly from Trump supporters.
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