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GOP lawmakers double down on AZ elections despite AG report saying they're safe and secure

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Posted at 6:55 PM, Feb 23, 2023

AVONDALE, AZ — Any chance that the release of a concealedattorney general report which discredited nearly every claim that Arizona's 2020 election was stolen quickly evaporated Thursday when Republicans, who sat on the Municipal Oversight & Elections Joint meeting, continued to press their belief that elections in Arizona are not safe and secure.

Only Republicans attended the hearing, while Democrats boycotted it.

The hearing focused on alleged threats and allegations of foreign and domestic interference in Arizona's election.

It featured a who's who of election deniers, such as Ivan Raiklin, who was mentioned by name during a January 6th Committee hearing for posting a memo called Operation Pence Card, a theory former Vice President Mike Pence could block the certification of election results on January 6th.

"I would argue international manipulation and then the federal executive branch, I argue at this point has gotten completely off the rails," Raiklin said during one point of his presentation.

Another witness was Jacqueline Breger, who accused election workers by name along with Mesa Mayor John Giles and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer of accepting bribes to alter the outcomes of elections.

Breger offered no proof of claims and none of the lawmakers asked for any. Finally, State Senator Ken Bennett of Prescott District 1 told Breger to stop talking, ending her testimony.

When Secretary of State Adrian Fontes spoke with ABC15 on Wednesday, his hope was the release of former Attorney General Mark Brnovich's investigation will change minds.

"I hope the release of this report gets some people to realize they've been lied to, even if they parroted the lie, even if they take some pride in feeling that's what their tribe wants to talk about. It's a lie," he said.

But, that seems like wishful thinking at this point.

State Senator Wendy Rogers led the election hearing Thursday. She has actively promoted the idea the 2020 election was stolen.

When investigators from the Attorney General's Office wanted to question her under oath about what she knew, Rogers refused to cooperate.

"It was an unprecedented move when we filed an ethics complaint against the Attorney General," Governor Katie Hobbs recounted Thursday from back when she was Secretary of State.

The governor spoke with reporters following an appearance at Littleton Elementary School in Avondale about the failure to release the report prior to the 2022 election.

"it is concerning, to say the least, that an elected official would use their political position to further their political interests cover up information, report information contrary to what investigators found," Governor Hobbs said.

As the governor spoke, 30 miles away at the State Capitol, there was no discussion or consideration of what was revealed by a 60-person, 10,000-hour investigation of the 2020 election.