AZ Audit Hearing Witness Pushed Birther Conspiracies, Promoted Big Lie
Watchdog: “Any politician still gunning for further investigation is doing so to the further detriment of our democracy.”
Washington, D.C. — This morning, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on Arizona’s sham election audit and the detrimental effects it has had on the nation’s democracy. Government watchdog Accountable.US found that one witness, Ken Bennett, Arizona’s former secretary of state and contact for Arizona Republican senators during the Cyber Ninjas audit, has a history of pushing fringe conspiracy theories and serves in a leadership role for a group that works to defend the perpetrators of the deadly insurrection attempt on January 6th.
“The Republican sham ‘audit’ in Arizona was about keeping the Big Lie alive. At today’s hearing, lawmakers must consider that when Ken Bennett testifies, they’ll be hearing from a conspiracy theorist and Capitol insurrection apologist, not a reputable former Arizona state official,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Arizona’s sham audit proved what we already know — that Joe Biden won the 2020 Election and there was no widespread voter fraud — so it’s time for politicians to let their partisan pandering to the former president die. Any politician still gunning for more investigations is doing so to the further detriment of our democracy.”
Notably, Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas — which was paid $5.7 million to conduct the audit — was called to testify but declined the invitation less than two days ago. In the wake of broad questioning about the Cyber Ninjas’ tactics and their highly suspect audit, it’s little surprise that he refused to appear and defend it under oath.
Ken Bennett served as a liaison to Arizona Senate Republicans during the Maricopa audit, where Bennett’s involvement was described as lending a veneer of legitimacy to the effort as a former Arizona secretary of state. In reality, Bennett’s record paints the picture of a politician who has long pushed dangerous partisan conspiracies, no matter the cost.
BACKGROUND ON BENNETT:
- SPREAD ELECTION MISINFO: Bennett serves as the state chairman for Look Ahead America, a group founded by former Trump campaign staff explicitly to “discourage or invalidate ‘fraudulent’ votes” through tactics including “forensic voter fraud investigation.”
- PROMOTED BIG LIE: Look Ahead America has referred to the perpetrators of the deadly January 6th assault on the Capitol as “political prisoners” and held several rallies calling for the release of those who stormed the Capitol, including the September 18, 2021 Washington, DC rally to free Capitol Rioters.
- PUSHED BIRTHER CONSPIRACIES: In his capacity as Arizona secretary of state, Bennett pursued conspiracy theories about former President Obama’s citizenship status, including threatening the former president’s access to the 2012 ballot in Arizona.
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