Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:25 am

Arizona Senate wants to keep nearly 2,900 audit-related documents from public view. . .

Senate lawyer Kory Langhofer

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

The Arizona Senate is continuing its fight to keep secret nearly 3,000 emails and text messages sent by lawmakers and others that relate to the Maricopa County election audit, their lawyer told a judge Wednesday.

The Senate turned over thousands of pages of communications on Tuesday after ordered to do so by two judges. But the Senate also provided a log of approximately 2,900 messages that were withheld or redacted because the Senate does not believe turning them over is required under the state Public Records Law.

Among those are most, if not all, of the communications between lawmakers who ordered the unprecedented election audit and Cyber Ninjas, the Florida company hired to conduct the audit.

“Our view of the legislative privilege, and I can tell you for decades the Legislature’s view of legislative privilege, is that when there are internal communications between legislators or their agents about legislative business, those are subject to legislative privilege,” Senate lawyer Kory Langhofer said during a court conference Wednesday.

That means the Senate will fight to prevent the disclosure of anything Senate President Karen Fann or other Republicans who ordered the audit have written to Cyber Ninjas or the various subcontractors on the audit.

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