Arizona's then-Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) scuttled a report that debunked claims of election fraud following the 2020 election.
The Washington Post first reported on Wednesday that Brnovich's successor, Democrat Kris Mayes, provided a trove of documents from the office's investigation into why then-President Donald Trump lost the election.
The investigation "quickly consumed more than 10,000 hours of his staff's time," the Post noted.
"Investigators prepared a report in March 2022 stating that virtually all claims of error and malfeasance were unfounded, according to internal documents reviewed by The Washington Post. Brnovich, a Republican, kept it private," the column said.
Mayes told the Post that she considered the investigation closed, and Maricopa County officials have been informed that they are no longer targets.
The paper added:
The records show how Brnovich used his office to further claims about voting in Maricopa County that his own staff considered inaccurate. They suggest that his administration privately disregarded fact-checks provided by state investigators while publicly promoting incomplete accounts of the office’s work. The innuendo and inaccuracies, circulated not just in the far reaches of the internet but with the imprimatur of the state’s attorney general, helped make Arizona an epicenter of distrust in the democratic process, eroding confidence not just in the 2020 vote but in subsequent elections.
In November 2020, Brnovich initially declared there was "no evidence" of election fraud.
Brnovich would later flirt with election fraud claims while running for Senate. His office released an interim report that he used to spread rumors of election fraud.
"It's frustrating for all of us, because I think we all know what happened in 2020," he told one right-wing radio broadcast at the time.
But after losing his Senate bid, Brnovich accused election deniers of being "clowns" conducting a "giant grift."
"Virtually all allegations had been deemed unfounded" in the version of the report Brnovich refused to release, the Post concluded.