On CNN Monday, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, tore into his party for spreading conspiracy theories that a local elections database was "deleted" — and took aim at the entire exercise of the partisan ballot "audit" being conducted by a private company to help the GOP look for fraud in President Joe Biden's victory in Arizona.
"What more can you tell us about all this?" asked anchor Erin Burnett.
"Just stop indulging this. Stop giving space for lies," said Richer. "We found out about this latest accusation through the Arizona Senate's audit's Twitter account, which is anonymously run, just accusing me and my staff of unlawfully deleting evidence. That's not appropriate. And I called the Senate president and I said, did you want to accuse me of unlawful evidence? She wrote back that she did not have control over these accounts. What's going on and who are these people defaming us? I don't think they are professionals ... it is exhausting having to respond to every insinuation. I have no idea how long this will go on for."
"I don't care about the consequences," Richer added. "This has been a rude awakening to what politics have become. If I am not part of it four years from now, so be it. I can do other things that'll make me happy. I am tired of my people, who are good people, who are my friends, being defamed. It is not right."
Maricopa Recorder Stephen Richer slams GOP lies surrounding vote 'audit' www.youtube.com
Ardently pro-Trump lawyer L. Lin Wood, known for his far-right QAnon beliefs and "firing squad" remarks, has seen his stock fall precipitously in MAGAworld of late, culminating in losing his race to become the next chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.
On Saturday, Wood's opponent Drew McKissick, who garnered the all-important support of former President Donald Trump, won the election decisively. South Carolina GOP spokesperson Claire Robinson relayed to Forbes that "more than 67% of the South Carolina GOP's 861 delegates voted for McKissick at their convention Saturday, handily defeating Wood, who drew 28% of the vote, and two smaller challengers."
Adding insult to injury, throughout the South Carolina contest Wood got the cold shoulder from the leader on whose behalf he spread outrageous fictions. Trump endorsed McKissick in a statement on March 30, writing, "Drew fought all the way to the Supreme Court to defend our voting laws — and WON. He will continue to grow the party and help Conservatives get elected in the Great State of South Carolina."
Following the loss, Wood took to Telegram on Sunday and prostrated himself further, seeking to explain the ex-president's decision to spurn him as an instance of Trump playing high-level chess. "President Trump is a genius," Wood wrote. "He plays chess at a level we will never fully understand. I was honored by his description of me as a 'strong and talented' opponent. Upon further reflection, I understand his endorsement of my opponent, Drew McKissick."
On the other hand, before the votes were cast, Wood frequently attacked McKissick over not taking questions and complained about what he perceived as an uneven playing field favoring the "incumbent RINO establishment." What questions he wanted McKissick to answer was unclear.
Speaking with Salon on Monday afternoon about his defeat, Wood claimed that all was well and no feelings were hurt. "I had a great time running for chair of the SCGOP, making new friends and building support from We The People. It was a win for me from my perspective," Wood told Salon. "I definitely do NOT feel betrayed at all by President Trump," he added.
Ahead of the Saturday vote, Wood received one notable endorsement, from fellow 2020 voter-fraud conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. "A great event in South Carolina! I endorse Lin Wood for the GOP Chairman of South Carolina!" Lindell wrote on the right-wing social media platform, Gab — since his own supposed social media site, Frank, remains inoperable.
Lindell did not return Salon's Monday request for comment. On Sunday afternoon, Lindell told Salon he would no longer speak to the publication, claiming that this reporter is "compromised" and "evil." "I will not be wasting my time with you ever again," he added.
In mid-April, Wood went on a high-octane tirade even by his standards, praising the QAnon conspiracy theory to a delighted audience at the "Health and Freedom Conference" in Oklahoma, an event dominated by the right-wing fringe.
Pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood goes on a wild QAnon rant at the far-right “Health and Freedom Conference." https://t.co/vEB5bIS2Pi— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo)1618715234.0
"Q. 'Cause Q is the truth," Wood declared.
'Ineptitude': Arizona county destroys top GOP official's recount company as 'grifters and con-artists'
Arizona's Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in a letter sent Monday slammed both the State Senate Republican President and the company she chose to perform a highly-controversial recount of the 2020 presidential election ballots.
That recount, which has been going on for nearly four weeks, has been plagued by regular reports of irregular and suspicious actions and, as the Board of Supervisors said today, "ineptitude."
Already the U.S. Dept. of Justice has notified the company performing the recount, Cyber Ninjas, that it is watching their actions and warning them their actions may violate the law.
The Maricopa Board of Supervisors – which is made up of four Republicans and just one Democrat – Monday did not hold back, blasting Senate President Karen Fann, accusing her of lying, among other disturbing actions.
Fann, in a false accusation picked up and repeated by Donald Trump over the weekend, claimed Maricopa County deleted an entire database. The accusation was made either out of ignorance or political vengeance, or both, but the damage has been done.
The County responded today, calling the accusations "false, defamatory, and beneath the dignity of the Senate."
"We demand that you immediately rescind your false and malicious tweet," the county tells Senate President Fann in a 13-page letter, "asserting that Maricopa County 'spoiled evidence' in the days before we provided the server to the Senate. Your tweet, which relies on the 'modified date' shown in the screenshot as evidence of wrongdoing, is demonstrably false; the only thing it does demonstrate is your auditors' incompetence. Their stunning lack of a basic understanding for how their software works is egregious and only made worse by the false tweet sent defaming the hardworking employees of Maricopa County."
The Senate, Maricopa County adds, "is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings."
You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call "kinematic artifacts" while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.
A few more excerpts:
"Your various questions about our election procedures reveal a serious lack of understanding of election law."
"a spectacular lack of understanding on your part"
"we cannot give you a password that we do not possess any more than we can give you the formula for Coca Cola. We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you."
"We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your "auditors". Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn't get the best people to perform in your political theatre. We have wasted enough County resources. People's tax dollars are real, your 'auditors' are not."
"Your 'audit' is harming all of us, and we ask you to end it."
But perhaps among the most disturbing accusations Maricopa County makes, is, as The Guardian's Sam Levine reports, Cyber Ninjas is "just straight miscounting ballots." Read this short tweet:
Maricopa county says Cyber Ninjas is just straight miscounting ballots https://t.co/riK3xBi6l3 https://t.co/vM5Wa9XjnX— Sam Levine (@Sam Levine)1621286015.0
Jack Sellers, the Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, concluded a meeting Monday afternoon by announcing to the Arizona Sensate, "Finish your report and be ready to defend it in a court of law."
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month