Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs seeks probe of Trump allies

(Arizona Secretary of State's Office Photo)

Arizona’s secretary of state wants the state’s attorney general to investigate whether former President Donald Trump and several allies broke the law when they tried pressuring Maricopa County officials to intervene in election certification and counting efforts in late 2020.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, suggested in a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, that overtures by the former president, attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward may have violated laws against election interference.

Citing a report in the Arizona Republic, Hobbs said in a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich that the alleged conduct by Mr. Trump, Giuliani, conservative lawyer Sidney Powell and Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward may have violated a state law that prohibits interfering with election officials.

"Arizona law protects election officials from those who would seek to interfere with their sacred duties to ascertain and certify the will of the voters," Hobbs said. "At the polling place, this law protects the right to vote. At the counting center, it protects the accuracy of results, free from political interference. But what protection exists for officials who fulfill their duties despite threats of political retribution if the person empowered to enforce the law is unwilling to do the same?"

Trump twice called Clint Hickman, who was then the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, in the days before Congress certified President Joe Biden's victory, the Arizona Republic reported last week. Giuliani also called Republican supervisors. Ward texted them aggressively, at one point telling Hickman, “We need you to stop the counting," according to public records.

“I urge you to take action not only to seek justice in this instance but to deter future attempts to interfere with the integrity of our elections," Hobbs wrote to Brnovich.

Hobbs and Brnovich have a fraught history with election law enforcement. Hobbs quietly filed complaints against Brnovich and several attorneys in his office at the Arizona State Bar, alleging that they had not accurately represented her in election matters.

Subsequently, Republican-controlled legislator Hobbes stripped of his authority to represent the state in electoral matters, temporarily handing it over to Brnovich until both officials leave office in 2023.

Hobbs gained national fame for advocating for the accuracy of the 2020 Arizona election. She is now running for governor. Brnovich is running for the US Senate and has been publicly criticized by Trump, who said he has not done enough to support Trump's efforts to overturn or question Biden's victory.

CTM News

9 July 2021

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