GOP Groups Intervene in Lawsuits Against Arizona’s Proof of Citizenship for Voting

GOP Groups Intervene in Lawsuits Against Arizona’s Proof of Citizenship for Voting

By Corinne Murdock |

On Thursday, three GOP groups intervened in a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s new law requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. 

The Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Republican Party of Arizona (RPAZ), the Mohave County Republican Central Committee, and the Gila County Republican Committee intervened to challenge the plaintiffs: two activist organizations advocating for progressive policies, Mi Familia Vota and Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). 

In their motion to intervene, the GOP groups asserted that voter ID preserved election integrity.

“[T]he question for this Court is not whether Movants have an interest in maintaining an ‘unconstitutional’ law. The question is whether Movants have an interest in preventing a federal court from enjoining a valid law that increases voter confidence and promotes election integrity,” read their motion.

Both Mi Familia Vota and LUCHA received help from one of the top lawyers for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign: Russiagate hoax lawyer Marc Elias.

In a press release, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel defended the new Arizona law as common-sense policy. She added that the law would hold Democrats accountable for their “underhanded election tactic” of rejecting voter ID.

“American elections should be decided by American citizens: full stop. When it comes to non-citizens voting, Democrats are trying to change the rules of the game because their radical ideas won’t win on an even playing field,” said McDaniel. 

Democrats argued that requiring voter ID in order to vote was unconstitutional and against federal law. 

However, legal experts like former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould clarified that the Constitution never empowered non-citizens with the right to vote. Gould told Arizona Daily Independent that the Constitution actually excludes non-citizens. 

“Of course, non-citizens have never had a right to vote under the Constitution, and so it is absurd to argue that HB2492 takes away a legal, constitutional right to vote from anyone,” said Gould. “Requiring proof of citizenship to vote is a neutral, reasonable, non-discriminatory restriction that operates to exclude one group: non-citizens.”

If the new law withstands legal challenges, it wouldn’t go into effect until 2023. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

DNC’s Russiagate Lawyer Deleted All Tweets Prior to April 4

DNC’s Russiagate Lawyer Deleted All Tweets Prior to April 4

The Democrats’ top lawyer and central actor in Russia collusion hoax, Marc Elias, deleted all tweets published prior to April 4. As AZ Free News reported, Elias is assisting several activist groups in their lawsuits against Arizona for enacting a law requiring proof of citizenship in order to vote. According to court filings, only one case has seen action beyond the initial complaint: the court allowed Attorney General Mark Brnovich to intervene in the case filed by Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). 

Elias hasn’t offered an explanation for the sudden purge; he joined Twitter in March 2009. In recent months, federal investigators have closed in on those behind the Russia collusion hoax, or Russiagate. 

At the end of March, the Federal Election Commission fined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign $113,000 for misrepresenting payments for opposition research used to create Russiagate. Elias was Clinton’s general counsel and his law firm at the time, Perkins Coie, billed for “legal expenses” that were used to hire an opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to do their work on former President Donald Trump. 

Fusion GPS obtained the debunked “Steele dossier” linking Trump to Russia from former British spy Christopher Steel, who created the dossier using false information from a Russian analyst living in Virginia, Igor Danchenko, who in turn received some ideas from former Clinton aide Charles Donlan Jr. 

Buzzfeed first published the fake dossier in January 2017, ten days before Trump’s inauguration. The lies cast a shadow on all four years of Trump’s presidency.

Although Elias wasn’t President Joe Biden’s general counsel for his campaign — he served as Vice President Kamala Harris’ general counsel during her short bid for president — the Biden campaign and the DNC enlisted his help to counter 65 lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results. 

Last August, Elias left his partnership at Perkins Coie to launch his own law firm: the Elias Law Group. He took 10 partners with him.

A month later, a federal grand jury indicted Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussman for making false statements to the FBI concerning alleged communications between Trump and Russia. In a 48-page motion last month to admit additional evidence, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that Sussman attempted to manipulate the FBI to advance the interests of his client, the Clinton campaign, by giving then-FBI general counsel James Baker information that Trump was colluding with Russia based on alleged internet server communications between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa-Bank. Sussman’s indictment noted that he billed the Clinton campaign for time spent drafting the document given to Baker. 

Then, the DOJ alleged that Sussman turned around and ordered Steele to create reports about the Alfa-Bank communications. After that, the DOJ alleged that Sussman and Fusion GPS employees presented their information to media. 

Sussman wasn’t one of the 10 partners that Elias recruited for his law firm. 

In January, Elias testified in Sussman’s case. In February, Sussman asked U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper to dismiss the case; Cooper denied the request last month. The trial is scheduled for May 16. At the pretrial hearing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

While Sussman was dealing with the fallout of Russiagate, his former employer and Elias moved onto other controversial clients. 

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, Black Lives Matter PAC paid the Elias Law Group nearly $8,000 for legal services and Perkins Coie over $8,000 for compliance services from January through March. Black Lives Matter came under scrutiny over the last year for its use of millions in donations to purchase mansions.

As for the DOJ case against Sussman, Elias and other top Clinton officials are fighting to keep the work done by Fusion GPS under wraps, claiming that it qualified for the confidentiality required of legal work.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Activists, Russiagate Hoax Lawyer Sue Arizona Over Proof of Citizenship for Voting Law

Activists, Russiagate Hoax Lawyer Sue Arizona Over Proof of Citizenship for Voting Law

By Corinne Murdock |

With the help of Hillary Clinton’s Russiagate hoax lawyer Marc Elias, the Phoenix-based Latino activist organization Mi Familia Vota filed a lawsuit Thursday to challenge Arizona’s newly-enacted law requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. Republican legislators and Governor Doug Ducey have reiterated that the legislation, HB2492, doesn’t apply retroactively to Arizonans who registered to vote without providing proof of citizenship before 2004, meaning those individuals won’t have to re-register to vote. There’s contention to that provision in question: opponents of the law argue that the new definition of a qualified voter requires all registered voters to have submitted proof of citizenship.

The complaint filed by Elias on behalf of Mi Familia Vota alleged that HB2492 was “confusing, discriminatory, and unconstitutional,” as well as “voter suppression,” claiming it would prevent those already registered without proof of citizenship from voting. The complaint also claimed that HB2492 shared the same faults as Proposition 200, a voter-approved initiative in 2004 that required county recorders to reject any application for registration that didn’t include satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship. 

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down Proposition 200, ruling that it was a violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) which doesn’t require proof of citizenship when registering to vote. However, as Arizona Free Enterprise Deputy Director Greg Blackie explained during the State Senate hearing of the bill, this law was designed to fall within the bounds of SCOTUS precedent because the NVRA doesn’t prohibit states from denying registration if there’s proof that the applicant isn’t a citizen.

Mi Familia Vota’s complaint further insisted that the new law would undermine early mail-in voting, due to the fact that it would negate the ease of voting provided by that method. The complaint also claimed that around 200,000 registered voters would have to locate and present proof of citizenship in order to vote. For that claim, the complaint cited an opinion piece in the Arizona Republic, which didn’t make a definitive claim that those voters would be scrutinized.

“If you registered to vote in Arizona before 2004 and never provided proof that you’re a U.S. citizen — a number that includes close to 200,000 voters who got their driver’s licenses before October 1, 1996, in the days before proof of citizenship was required — you, too, could be suspect. In the eyes of the GOP-run Arizona legislature, that is,” stated the article. [emphasis added]

Setting aside the potential difficulties presented to voters, the complaint argued that Arizona had no compelling interest to justify requiring proof of citizenship of its voters. It claimed that the lack of proof of non-citizens who’d voted proved that point.

In terms of requested relief, the complaint asked the court to find the new law to be in violation of the rights to vote and due process as outlined in the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Mandatory Proof of Citizenship to Vote Becomes Law

Mandatory Proof of Citizenship to Vote Becomes Law

By Corinne Murdock |

On Wednesday, Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2492, which requires individuals to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. The law most heavily impacts federal-only voters: federal law doesn’t require proof of citizenship when voting in federal elections. In the 2020 election, there were over 11,600 Arizonans who didn’t provide proof of citizenship, and state legislators reported that the current numbers were even higher: around 36,000, according to State Senator Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert). In 2018, there were 1,700 registered voters without proof of citizenship.

In a statement to AZ Free News, former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould commended Ducey for signing the legislation. He predicted that the law would improve voter turnout: the opposite of what the bill’s opponents claimed it would do. 

“I want to thank Governor Ducey for signing HB2492. This new law, which requires proof of citizenship for state and federal elections, provides a critical protection for election integrity in Arizona,” said Gould. “This important piece of legislation, like all common-sense elections laws, will boost voter confidence and increase voter participation in Arizona.”

The Democratic Party’s Russiagate hoax lawyer, Marc Elias, pledged to sue Arizona over the law. Elias specializes in election litigation; he’s intervened in nearly 330 elections-related cases following the 2020 election, 150 of which he’s won. This week, the Washington Examiner reported that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined the DNC $105,000 and Hillary Clinton $8,000 for failing to accurately report how they funded the sole instigator of the Russiagate hoax, the Steele dossier. Clinton and the DNC together paid over $1 million to Elias’ law firm, Perkins Coie, for the opposition research firm that compiled the dossier, Fusion GPS. The DNC and Clinton claimed their combined funds were for legal services, not opposition research. 

Based on Elias’ latest remarks, it looks like he will make good on the promise to sue.

In a letter to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Wednesday, Ducey offered a history of Arizonans’ support for proof of citizenship in order to vote. He recounted Proposition 200, a proof of citizenship requirement passed by voters in 2004 but later struck down by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Ducey also dispelled rumors that those who registered to vote without proof of citizenship prior to this bill’s enactment would have to re-register to vote. 

“Election integrity means counting every lawful vote and prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote,” wrote Ducey. “[This bill] is a balanced approach that honors Arizona’s history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security in our elections.”

In response, Hobbs claimed the legislation was “illegal.” She noted that the law would cause “costly litigation,” potentially alluding to Elias’ threats. Hobbs criticized Ducey’s latest efforts as a failure, a day after her signature-gathering system crashed while Maricopa County Attorney candidates attempted to submit signatures before their deadline in just a few days’ time. Those candidates need over 4,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.