Analysis: Texas meets Trump's demands on election as Arizona presents sham 2020 review
Sep 24, 2021 2 mins, 55 secs
Details of the partisan report in Arizona emerged hours before GOP members of the state Senate were due to present the findings of an "audit" that Trump supporters believed would back up his false claims of fraud in a state he lost to Biden last November.

But the chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors -- which ran the election and rejected Trump's claims -- said the report proved the election results were sound.

"You don't have to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate/Cyber Ninja audit report to confirm what I already knew -- the candidates certified by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General -- did, in fact, win," Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, said.

Critics had warned that the firm charged with doing the audit, Cyber Ninjas, had no experience in elections, had links to Trump's orbit and conducted a bizarre process carried out in secrecy.

Maricopa County officials confirmed that the review established Biden's victory over Trump, but they warned that the draft report was "also littered with errors & faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020 General Election." That material is likely to be seized upon by Trump die-hards seeking to bolster his false claims that he was cheated out of remaining in the White House.

The former President's power to force elements of his Republican Party to reject democratic values was earlier in evidence yet again.

Hours after Trump published a public letter to Texas GOP Gov.

And it creates yet another precedent of interference in vote counting and election certification, which was previously seen as walled off from politicization, that threatens to taint elections in 2022, 2024 and for years to come.

The Arizona "audit" has also, as CNN's Fredreka Schouten reported on Thursday, seeded a flurry of attempts to hold copycat reexaminations of already certified election results in battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where Trump lost -- and even in some states where he won.

All of these ongoing threats to faith in American democracy arise out of Trump's election night claim, "Frankly, we did win this election." The path that the ex-President took led to a cascade of consequences that underscore that while he left the White House on January 20, the threat he poses to American democracy is still growing.

For instance:

New evidence emerged this week that Trump was working off a step-by-step plan for a coup as Congress certified Biden's election win on January 6, drawn up by conservative lawyer John Eastman.

But they are also meant to provide a rationale and power base for a possible new Trump tilt at the White House in 2024 and to potentially establish a mechanism to steal power.

Trump still fuming over Arizona

Arizona is an especially sore point for the ex-President, who was furious when Fox News, which he regarded as an extension of his team, called the state for Biden on election night, well ahead of other news organizations.

The state was also one of several, including swing states like Georgia and Pennsylvania, where elected officials from both parties and professional election staff stood firm against extraordinary pressure from Trump to change the results.

The second and even more important goal was to appease Trump and curry favor with his core supporters, whose devotion is the driving force within the GOP today.

Just the fact of a fake audit being conducted by a party whose candidate lost an election certified as free and fair marks a political aberration.

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