Arizona audit: Senate continues fight to keep Cyber Ninjas’ records secret

An Arizona Ranger watches as contractors working for Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity company hired by the Arizona State Senate, examine and recount ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021.

By Ryan Randazzo| Arizona Republic

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and other Republicans in her caucus are fighting to keep secret the records of the 2020 election audit they are directing despite a judge’s order that they “immediately” hand over all communications related to the effort.

Fann, R-Prescott, Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, and the Arizona Senate filed a petition in the Arizona Court of Appeals on Wednesday in hopes of overturning the order.

Their attorneys, Kory Langhofer and Thomas Basile, wrote that the Superior Court judge’s order is “an extraordinary incursion into the sovereign affairs” of the Legislature. They also continued to argue, as they did unsuccessfully in a lower court, that the records held by the Senate’s contractor, Cyber Ninjas, are not public.

The case initially was brought by American Oversight, a nonprofit group founded by Democrats to investigate the Trump administration. The Arizona Republic also sued the Senate for communications related to the audit, including messages between the Senate and Cyber Ninjas. That separate lawsuit also named Cyber Ninjas as defendants.


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August 2021