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After Arizona's failed 'audit,' conspiracy theorists turn on each other

Arizona's sham election "audit" clearly didn't turn out the way Republican conspiracy theorists hoped. Now, they're turning on each other.

Arizona's sham election "audit" clearly didn't turn out the way Donald Trump and his allied election conspiracy theorists hoped. On the contrary, the entire fiasco backfired spectacularly on the right when the Republicans behind the process said President Joe Biden won the state by an even larger margin than previously reported.

But the drama is far from over. For one thing, GOP legislators are moving forward with similarly absurd "audits" in several other states. For another, the mess in Arizona lingers. The Daily Beast reported yesterday:

Supporters of Republicans' controversial "audit" of 2020 presidential election ballots have turned on each other after the partisan investigation failed to find proof of election malfeasance, with disaffected backers even circulating a fabricated rival report they claim shows interference by the "deep state."

The Arizona Mirror's Jerod MacDonald-Evoy summarized the new complaints from far-right conspiracy theorists who do not trust the findings from the other conspiracy theorists: "The deep state and the politically correct lawyers and RINOs of the GOP suppressed this."

The Daily Beast's report added:

Among the audit report's new detractors: Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, the controversial inventor whose supposed technology analyzing folds in ballot paper had promised, according to audit supporters, to detect some kind of voter fraud. Instead, the final audit report contained no mention of Pulitzer's imaging technology, a change Pulitzer attributed on Twitter to "deep state" malfeasance.

Asked who in the "deep state" supposedly engaged in sabotage, Pulitzer replied in an email to The Daily Beast, "That's the big question — is it not?"

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but since so much of the Arizona fiasco is bewildering, I'm not inclined to dwell on it.

As for the fabricated rival report, Talking Points Memo reported this week, "There's apparently a phony copy of the final report from the sham Arizona 'audit' floating around that advises lawmakers not to certify the 2020 election."

The 2020 election was, in reality, certified many months ago.

Looking ahead, The Hill reported this week that Arizona's Republican state attorney general, Mark Brnovich, has requested documents from both the GOP-led state Senate and Maricopa County officials.

"The Arizona Senate's report that was released on Friday raises some serious questions regarding the 2020 election," Brnovich said without identifying what those questions might be. "Arizonans can be assured our office will conduct a thorough review of the information we receive."

As for why in the world the state attorney general would engage in such a foolish exercise, he appears to have an electoral incentive: Brnovich launched a U.S. Senate campaign in June.

What's more, it just so happens that the biggest hurdle standing in the way of his candidacy is Donald Trump, who has publicly criticized the Arizonan for not going far enough to kowtow to the former president's anti-election nonsense. Trump even issued a written statement a few months ago, saying Brnovich was "nowhere to be found" in helping spread the former president's ridiculous ideas.

"The lackluster Attorney General of Arizona, Mark Brnovich, has to get on the ball and catch up with the great Republican patriots in the Arizona State Senate," Trump added.

Evidently, Brnovich is doing his best to follow the instructions.