By Corinne Murdock |
A purported draft of the Maricopa County election audit report calling for decertification has been circulating online since the official audit report on Friday. This version of the audit report called for decertification of the 2020 election results. The Gateway Pundit, a right-leaning news outlet, originally published the purported draft. In a press release response on Monday, the auditing company Cyber Ninjas asserted that the draft and its recommendations of decertification weren’t real.
The Gateway Pundit draft is not the same draft audit report leaked to media outlets last Friday prior to the Senate presentation. That draft audit report is valid, whereas the one in which Cyber Ninjas recommended decertification isn’t valid.
This “draft” of the audit report was uploaded to Scribd by Jim Hoft, founder and editor-in-chief of Gateway Pundit. It was then reported on by Joe Hoft, Jim’s twin brother, in an article published Sunday afternoon, “Arizona Audit Final Report Was Watered Down: Reports from Cyber Ninjas Were Edited, Most Damning Statements Removed – What Else Was Removed?”
AZ Free News reached out to Gateway Pundit to inquire about the origins of this draft report. They didn’t offer a response by press time.
The PR team for Cyber Ninjas, the Thomson Group, issued a statement on Monday that the draft audit report from Gateway Pundit was falsified and wasn’t from Cyber Ninjas.
There is a false version of the Executive Summary of the Maricopa County Forensic Election Audit report that is circulating. This false version claims to be an earlier version of the Cyber Ninjas Executive Summary, but because of supposed threats from the Senate, it was not used. This is absolutely false.
The exact origins to the Executive Summary found at the following scribd link are unknown. But it was not written by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, nor was it any version that was ever sent or shown to the Senate for review. Specifically, this false version of the Executive Summary states, ‘the election should not be certified.’
This was not written by Cyber Ninjas. It is Cyber Ninjas’ perspective that whether an election should or should not be certified is to be determined by the legislature, and not auditors. The audit team’s job is to supply all the facts and findings surrounding the election and recommend legislative reforms.
We followed up with the Thomson Group to ask if they’d determined the source for this falsified draft report. They didn’t respond by press time, either.
According to The Gateway Pundit’s Ethics and Editorial Standards, their publication focuses on relaying truth and exemplifying virtue.
“All our content should be true. No value is more important than this. […] All Gateway Pundit content should be excellent, both in production and in the promotion of virtue. […] We must have courage in order [to] expose the truth about powerful interests that may be angered by our coverage.”
The Senate’s liaison to the audit, Randy Pullen, confirmed with the Arizona Capitol Times that the draft audit report calling for decertification was fake. As of press time, Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) hasn’t issued any statements on this purported audit draft.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.