Wednesday, December 30, 2020

NEW: AZ Attorney General Brnovich Dips Toe In Post-Election Disputes, Pushes Validity of Legislative Subpoenas For Ballot Envelopes, Etc; Status Conference On Monday Morning (READ: Pleadings)

 Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office - including its Election Integrity Unit - has not indicated that its investigation has found any reason to seize ballot images/envelopes/software/equipment - from Maricopa County or any other county. However, it is today telling a Superior Court judge that he should let State Senate President Karen Fann and Sen. Eddie Farnsworth take such action against Maricopa County.

Meanwhile, Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason has set a status conference for Monday morning (11:00am). 

The AG's Office asked to be allow to file an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in the heating-up battle between the lawmakers and their Republican colleagues dominating the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. After issuing the subpoenas to the County, the County filed the current case asking the Court to find them unlawful. (Fann and Farnsworth filed a separate suit, but that was dismissed.)

The AG's argument that the legislative subpoenas are lawful rests largely on the premise that Fann and Farnsworth have said they need to have the information to inform any new legislation that might be necessary in the future. Even though they also want the materials to prove alleged fraud and undermine the results in last month's Presidential election, the valid purpose of helping craft legislation, ahem, trumps that and the court should be deferential to the legislature's powers.

Yesterday, we pointed out that Fann/Farnsworth's attorneys ironically used the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Congress's subpoenas of President Trump's accountants to support the current subpoena. The AG's proposed brief similarly reaches to the federal level, quoting the words of President Woodrow Wilson about Congress's broad authority to investigate, and noting that "One hundred and thirty-five years later, President Wilson's words still ring true."

Here are the Attorney General's filings:

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