Arizona GOP kicks out reporter after he tweeted pic of Trump insurrectionist at audit
Ryan Randazzo on Twitter

Arizona Republicans have limited press access to their controversial audit of Maricopa County ballots, but have allowed in a pool reporter.

On Friday, that responsibility fell to Arizona Republic reporter Ryan Randazzo. Who was kicked out.

Randazzo tweeted a picture, announcing that he was let in over an hour late.

However, it is a different photo that reportedly got Randazzo escorted out of the building.

Randazzo posted a photo of controversial former Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern.

Democrats in Arizona have asked the FBI to investigate Kern for his role in the January 6th insurrection.

After Randazzo posted the picture of Kern, he reported he was escorted out the building.

The newspaper is standing by Randazzo.

"The Arizona Republic never agreed to obscure faces," Arizona Republic Editor Greg Burton said. "The Senate's own livestream on the floor shows faces of everybody involved. We agreed not to show ballot details, which we have adhered to, but clearly, you can't take a picture in a room full of ballots without showing ballots at a distance. Anyone looking at the live feed gets the same view."

Kern, for his part, is asking Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate.

Laurie Roberts, a columnist for The Republic, blasted Republicans for kicking out her colleague.

"The auditors claim Randazzo violated a court order and somehow compromised voter privacy," Roberts wrote. "That's about as laughable as the auditors' talk this week about their 'ongoing efforts to be transparent' even as they were asking a judge to let them keep secret the details about how they are handling our ballots. About as laughable as the notion that what Republicans are calling 'America's audit' – conducted and largely paid for by Trump supporters – is, in any way, credible."

"To repeat, the media agreed only not to publish pictures that show 'identifiable ballot information.' The only thing identifiable in Randazzo's picture is the sheer outrageousness of this whole joke of an Arizona election audit," she explained. "If Brnovich investigates anything, it should be the legality of allowing private contractors — people who have no expertise in elections except a heartfelt belief that this was one stolen —to take control of Maricopa County's 2.1 million. Or how about an attorney general investigation into the legality of hiding the names of the people who are donating money to fund this official state audit."

"Alas, I don't look to Brnovich to stand up to anybody here. The Republican AG is, after all, expected to run for the Senate next year, and it wouldn't do to rile the base," she noted.