Nonprofit groups run by a crew of radical right-wing conspiracy theorists are paying millions of dollars to fund much of the sham Arizona vote audit launched by Republican state senators, according to records released following a lawsuit demanding transparency in the process.
Groups headed by former President Donald Trump’s ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn (nearly $1 million), conspiracy lawyer Sidney Powell ($550,000) and two correspondents from One American News Network ($605,000) — who gushed about the audit operation while paying for it — are among the top funders of the controversial recount by the inexperienced Cyber Ninjas company, according to the records.
The unveiling of the people bankrolling the audit appears to further undermine any remaining credibility in the operation.
The America Project ($3.2 million), run by former Overstock furniture company CEO and QAnon acolyte Patrick Byrne, also chipped in, making a total of some $5.7 million paid by Trump supporters who backed his lie that Joe Biden won the presidency only because of widespread election fraud. The Arizona Senate, which hired Cyber Ninjas, has allocated only $150,000 for the process.
The funding numbers and documents provided by Cyber Ninjas didn’t cleanly add up, reported The Arizona Republic.
Cyber Ninjas revealed funders’ identities after the Republic sued for records on the audit of 2.1 million Maricopa County votes run by CEO Doug Logan. Logan, a QAnon conspiracy theorist, was convinced before he looked at a single Arizona ballot that “hundreds of thousands” of additional votes would inevitably be found for Trump.
Among multiple questionable practices, the Ninjas have exposed ballots to infrared light in a hunt for “bamboo fibers,” which organizers claim would prove interference from China. Last month, copies of voter data were spirited out of Phoenix and taken to an isolated cabin in Montana, some 1,300 miles away.
Critics say that the operation hasn’t turned up a shred of evidence of Trump’s “big lie” of a rigged election and that the company is stalling for time and desperately grasping at anything to justify the multimillion-dollar contract.