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tv   Arizona Election Officials Testify on 2020 Election Audit - Part 2  CSPAN  October 29, 2021 11:01am-11:47am EDT

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at the qualify a witness, we will take a very brief bathroom break. the committee stands in recess for three minutes.
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the committee will come to order. the gentleman from georgia, mr. clyde, is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. it's no secret that this country faces an uphill battle in restoring trust and integrity in our elections. democrats claimed republicans did not win races fairly in 2000
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and again in 2004 and since 2016 we listened to the left repeat the big lie that russia stole the election. that lie has been repeated now for almost five years. now those same voices are simply beside themselves that republicans would dare ask for integrity in our election process. so the question is when do we stop pointing fingers and start carrying out our duty to ensure our constituents can trust our elections? building trust starts with taking steps to verify that all votes are legal and cast by eligible voters. building trust does not start by harassing a private company doing a job that it was contracted to do. partisans start by violating the tenth amendment and the rule of law by starting in with the feds know best attitude. the federal government does not and should not have a say over how the state of arizona carries out its elections nor should it actively work to prohibit any
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state from carrying out a forensic audit to verify the integrity of its election laws and restore public trust at the voting booth. we need less federal involvement in our elections, not more. the american people and specifically for today's hearing those from arizona deserve to be able to cast votes with confidence and trust, electoral process and outcomes, irrespective of which party wins. every legal vote must be counted and those which are illegal must be set aside. we cannot allow any legal voter's vote to be invalidated and canceled by an illegal vote. i remind my friends on both sides of the aisle and our witnesses of the fact that we can count $100 as many times as we want and the count will remain the same, 100. but if those bills are counterfeit you don't have $100
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in legal tender. that's the real issue today, it's not just the count, it's the counting of illegal votes. illegal and counterfeit votes must be tossed out. that is a common sense rule that must be followed in arizona, georgia, and all other elections. thankfully my home state of georgia has worked to fix the serious problems that plagued our state's election process such as signature discrepancies on absentee ballots, off-hour ballot counting, and unsecure ballot drop boxes just to name a few so that voters can trust the process. i'll do everything in my power to ensure that washington keeps its hands off georgia's election laws and that our state's tenth amendment rights are not seized by the federal government. with that i yield the remainder of my time to mr. biggs so he too can keep washington and this committee out of the business of the people of as. >> i thank the gentleman from georgia. this is a question for vice chairman gates and chairman sellers. either one of you can answer, don't need both, but just either one. i'm trying to understand, it
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gets to the thematic thing we were talking about a moment ago. i'm trying to understand how the auditors, whether the auditors you hired or the auditors that -- that worked for the state senate, how were they able to -- to do any type of validation of the 2020 election results if the database was actually cleared before they got started? >> and again, that -- well, again, that's something that i would prefer if we can provide a followup answer to you on that. but again, this was all available. and i believe -- i believe there may have been a public records request, i'm not sure if there was on that. but, you know, we can -- >> but you had actually cleared the servers and backed them up to the archive, said. just to change slightly, the auditors hide by y'all to do the
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audit, they were not fec certified forensic auditors, right? >> they were certified to operate on these machines. >> but not -- >> they're from voting system laboratories. >> right. but they're not auditors, they're not certified auditors? because the ftc doesn't actually certify auditors for elections, correct? >> they're people who understand how election machines work. >> i'm going to ask you a yes-or-no question because you and i can bounce around here. the ftc does not certify full forensic auditors at all? >> i -- i believe that's -- it's that the eac, that certifies them. >> the eac doesn't certify full forensic auditors. >> that term, that "full forensic auditor," i'm not familiar -- >> they don't do forensic auditors, they don't certify.
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what they certify deals with the machines themselves, the tabulators and whether they can operate on those machines, right? >> right, and whether it's been connected to the internet. >> the gentleman's time has expired. without objection mr. stanton is authorized to participate in today's hearing. mr. stanton, you are now recognized. >> madam chair, thank you for allowing me to participate in today's important hearing. i'm very disappointed that mr. logan declined to appear here today to address questions about how the cyber ninjas firm was selected to conduct a multimillion dollar month-long partisan audit. i suspect the reason he isn't here is because he does not have good answers, that his involvement was a fraud from the beginning. mr. logan has a history of spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the election and it may be one of the reasons why he was chosen to advance the false narrative by mr. trump's loyal followers in arizona. i would like to walk through a little of that history right now. on november 19, 2020, mr. logan
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tweeted, quote, dominion servers in german were grabbed by the good guys in germany, unquote. dominion as a company that makes election servers. mr. logan was apparently referring to the theory spread by gateway pundit as well as convicted felon and former trump aide george pappadopoulos. were servers seized in germany after the election? >> there is zero evidence to support any part of that allegation including the idea that there were dominion servers in germany at any time. >> "usa today" and reuters all fact checked this claim and rated it false, they didn't even
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have servers in germany, unquote. mr. logan prepared a document for the recently sanctioned trump lawyer sidney powell to help republicans who wanted to object to the election. it said that dominion core software originated from a company, quote, founded in communist venezuelan with links to hugo chavez. mr. becker, you are an expert in the field. are you aware of any he saw that suggests that dominion's core software originates in a company with ties to former venezuelan dictator hugo chavez? >> there is absolutely no connection between dominion or any other voting company in the united states and hugo chavez. >> even the trump campaign knew this conspiracy was baseless. according to an internal memo
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prepared for the campaign in mid-november 2020, trump campaign lawyers stated that dominion has no direct ties to venezuela. nor recently, this summer, while the fraudulent audit in arizona was taking place, mr. logan starred in a film called, quote, the deep rig, which sought to prove that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against donald trump. in the film, mr. logan states, without any supporting evidence, that the cia or former members of the intelligence agency may be spreading disinformation around election fraud. mr. becker, is there any evidence supporting the theory that the cia officers spread disinformation about election fraud, any at all? >> there is zero evidence of that. >> these conspiracy theories are all completely groundless, and yet mr. logan has publicly espoused them. if this was the person the trump loyalists in the arizona senate believed was the right person for the job, it's pretty clear
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their goal was not to conduct an honest audit. if mr. logan were here today, we would ask him whether he still believes these conspiracy theories. we would also ask him how he could possibly conduct a fair and impartial audit when he had already made up his mind on the basis of debunked internet conspiracy theories nearly eight months ago. we can't ask these questions because mr. logan unfortunately declined this committee's invitation to defend his work under oath. i yield back. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. and before we close, i want to offer mr. biggs an opportunity to offer any closing remarks you may have. mr. biggs, you are now recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. as an old trial lawyer, i just have to know how long you're going to give me. as long as i want? okay. my flight doesn't leave for a couple of hours.
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anyway, thanks, madam chair, i appreciate it very much. i agree with so much of what colleagues on my side of the aisle have been saying today, that this is an unnecessary encroachment into arizona's travails, if i can put it that way, over the audit and our election system. the constitution leaves that to us. if there was some kind of something that was materially violative of civil rights, then maybe that would have warranted this. but i'm going to just go through a few things that i think are so important. not the least of which is the fact that in september of this year -- last year, september of last year, before the election took place, polling data showed
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that only 22% of americans thought that the presidential election of 2020 would be free and fair. only 22%. that was consistent with polling in 2012, 2008, 2004. and the last time that my democratic colleagues believed that they had legitimately lost an election was 1988. that's what the polling indicated. what we've heard called the big lie over and over today by our friends from the left and the democrats is something that they set the gold standard for in 2016, for the last four years.
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the question of the audit, as i mentioned early on, was bizarre to me because my colleagues across the aisle want it both ways. so they repeatedly, as one of them said, it is shameful, it is shameful that we had this audit. they kept going on and on, the last gentleman just ripped doug logan. i don't know mr. logan. i don't know his history. they ripped that. they ripped the dark money. umm, the funding sources they had problems with. they ripped everything they possibly could about the audit. and at the same time that they were attacked the audit, they simultaneously argued that it buttressed their position as to who won the election.
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i view that as specious, inconsistent, fallacious. i was asked who won in arizona. i don't know. because there were statutory issues with this election. no election is ever perfect. but in my mind, we've not resolved the issues that took place at this time. i had more questions to ask. we don't have time to ask more questions. i'm going to go without asking those questions and maybe submit them in writing, maybe we can get answers in writing. there is so much underlying this. and this notion that this was, uh, a fraudulent effort to get at the root of this election i think is -- that's a -- of
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itself, we should have warranted an audit. from my view, watching from outside, it certainly looked to me like the board was obfuscating and trying to prevent an audit. my recommendation early on was just do a full and complete audit, get it over with, resolve it. that's what i said in november, resolve that issue, put this thing to bed. and here we sit almost a full year later. and people still have questions about election integrity. i don't know how we're going to resolve that. but i do know that this continued -- this continued, uh, antagonism towards this audit, while at the same time saying, well, it proves what we said but it stinks, that's ludicrous.
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i would hope that we can have audits, meaningful audits, the audit that was conducted statutorily by maricopa county, that was a statutory audit, but that really wasn't an audit. nobody here would say, oh, yeah, that's a full and complete audit. none of us would say that. it just isn't. it's meant to provide some kind of statistical reference point. and as mr. bennett, former secretary of state of arizona, pointed out, it simply was not even with a random sample. i had people who worked in polling locations who told me -- who came up and said they were concerned. i had people who worked on those boxes who said they were concerned. i think there's legitimate concerns. i'm not sure that the audit revealed those. but i can tell you what, both sides are further entrenched today than they were six, eight,
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ten months ago in arizona. and that's -- that's a shame. that's a shame. i don't know how we're going to resolve that. i'm going to yield one minute to paul gosar from arizona. >> chairwoman, i would just like to ask unanimous consent to submit several transcripts to the record of democrats and republican senators and many others raising the same concerns myself and my constituents. and, uh, several articles for the record. >> without objection. >> the last thing i want to ask is to really hit home, mr. biggs made a very -- point, is code 52 u.s. 271, it was passed by a democrat majority over 50 years ago. it encourages audits and their findings. there is plenty of unanswered questions here.
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i talked about it earlier. trust is a series of promises which he hadn't the way you keep trust to the american people, with arizonans, is be transparent. that solves that. when you look back at my testimony on january 6th, that's what i asked for. i asked for a ten-day moratorium to let any state have ten days to look at an audit, to do it right. please, please take the time to watch "kill chain." it's hardly a conservative group that points it out. but this isn't a republican or a democratic issue. this is an american issue. getting it right. that when i cast my ballot for whoever is -- is there, who i cast it for, it goes very appropriately and electronics, hand manipulation, doesn't skew that aspect. that's all we're asking. so from that standpoint, i love the conversation back and forth. umm, but i don't think people are -- are bad, like you
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intended. even mr. raskin, he introduced legislation because he saw electronic manipulation and problems. and -- and it goes both ways, whether it be 2016, 2018, 2020. there's plenty to go around. so why not get it right this time. why not be transparent. that's how you gain trust of the american people. trust is transparency. madam chairwoman, thank you for the indulges. indulgence. i appreciate it. and i yield back. >> madam chairwoman, i have items to put in. >> they will be put in the record. >> thank you so much. one is february 26, 2021, "arizona republic." another one from representative bullock dated february 2021, "washington examiner." one from glenn greenwald, september 27. one -- a letter from, madam chair, to honorable trey gowdy
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dated february 25, 2018. another one from representative gerry connolly dated january 29, 2018. and the last one from "the baltimore sun" dated january 5, 2017, entitled representative jamie raskin not seeing electoral college challenge for trump. >> without objection. we have been told that mr. keller has logged on. mr. keller is now recognized for five minutes. mr. keller? >> thank you, madam chair, and thank you very much to all our witnesses for taking time to testify before the committee today. before addressing the subject of this hearing, i would like to take a moment to urge the majority to use its oversight powers to focus on any of the numerous crises facing our country, be it rampant inflation, the crisis on our southern border, the irresponsible way in which, umm, the biden administration pulled out of afghanistan, skyrocketing
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energy prices, or the staggering national debt, just to name a few. the price of natural gas alone is at a ten-year high. this must be addressed before winter sets in and americans have to make difficult financial decisions just to heat their homes. the integrity of our elections is directly linked to the integrity of our democratic systems of government, at the local, state, or federal level. while proper election protocol is essential, the matter of arizona election audits is fundamentally a state issue. this is the second time in a week that this committee has raised issues firmly in states' jurisdictions into the federal arena. rather than attacking a private company for fulfilling its contract and conducting an election audit, this committee
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should be directing any objection about the audit to its originators, the arizona state senate. one thing that all voters, regardless of party affiliation, can agree upon is that we must have election integrity. that is the only way to ensure trust in our elections, faith that our officials have been righteously elected and confidence in our government. i would again encourage the majority party to take a look at the issues that lie squarely within the jurisdiction of the oversight and reform committee. believe me, there's plenty of federal agencies that need oversight and reform. we should be focused on those. and the states where they have issues should focus on making sure that they address those issues. we certainly aren't going to call in, you know, the arizona
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department of revenue and investigate how they handle their state income tax collection. if we have an issue at the federal level, we should be dealing with that. but issues within the states' jurisdictions, we should go back to the states and follow the constitution and have them address those issues. with that, madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. >> i'll take your time. >> i yield to mr. biggs. >> i thank you, thanks, mr. keller, i appreciate that. so i'm going to be able to ask a couple of the questions i didn't think i would be able to ask. i was looking at your website called it says that the county does not change its election management system. that's false, that the county does not change its election management passwords. i assume what you're asserting is you regularly change the passwords for your ems server, for the server for the ems? >> yes, my understanding -- i'm
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not sure what you mean by "regularly," but it is something that is changed. >> so would you then be surprised, i guess, that the records from cyber clearly indicate that all accounts had the same password and even the user name was the same and has not been changed since the ems server was set up? >> yeah, again, i don't -- off i don't have to that in front of me, i'm not sure what the basis of that is. >> that would be concerning about cybersecurity, would it not? >> no, because congressman, as i think you understand, the ems is not connected -- as you relate to cybersecurity, it's not connected to the internet in any way. it's an air gap system. these machines that were used in the 2020 election were never connected to the internet. >> that's your assertion here today? >> it is.
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>> all right. >> based upon the certified folks that took a look at that as well. >> let's talk about paper, vote secure paper does not have a special coating to prevent bleed-through. are you saying that only vote secure paper was utilized in the 2020 general election? >> yes. vote secure paper was utilized. but it is a fact that you can have bleed-throughs, bleed-throughs, and that's where we made sure we redesigned the ballot so that if there was something on one side, it wouldn't bleed through and show as a vote in the election on the other side. >> i hoped to be able to ask mr. bennett about that. thank you. >> the gentleman yields back. i'm now told mr. fallon has logged in. mr. fallon, do you wish to ask questions? >> yes, madam chairman, thank you very much. >> you are recognized. >> thank you. not even a crisis but the
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catastrophe on the border, i believe the administration has made all 49 other states border states as well. i yield to my friend. >> thank you. let's talk about, mr. bennett, the paper. you heard the testimony from vice chairman gates. can you please respond to us about the paper that you found in the audit, that the auditors found in the audit. >> what i was informed of is that there appeared to be ten different sources or types of paper used for the ballots. i personally witnessed the fact that on some ballots, there was a fair amount of bleed-through from one side to the other. but as mr. gates mentioned, one of the things that you're supposed to do in setting up your election in arizona is align the ballots so that if
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there is bleed-through from front to back or vice-versa, that no corresponding ovals are affected. and it's my understanding that even though we found bleed-through, we did not find that bleed-through overlapping an oval on the other side. >> so to your knowledge, there was no encroachment from one side to the other? >> that's my understanding. >> thank you. can you add on here to the -- whether there was any issues with regard to these same password and user names in servers? >> i can simply repeat the testimony mr. ben cotton, the ceo of the company that looked at the equipment, who said that their evidence showed that they -- that the county used common user names and passwords and that i think there was more than one, but as required by
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state law and election procedures manuals in arizona, they did not use unique user names and passwords so that if there was a question related to who did what in the election management system, not a cybersecurity issue as mr. gates mentioned, but the purpose for having unique user names and passwords is so that if you have things happen in the election, you can tell who did it. and he said that the use of common user names and passwords make that impossible to detect. >> so you wouldn't know necessarily who was even logging in because the user names and not discrete? >> correct. >> explain to us the election procedure manual and its relationship vis-à-vis statute. >> the election procedures manual is specifically authorized in state law. it is under the direction of the
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secretary of state's office which i occupied for six years. i did three of them during my six years. it's an adopted in the off election years. it also has to have the consent of the attorney general and the governor, to sign off on the election procedures manual. it has the effect of law as is dictated in state statute itself. >> so if there's an issue with compliance with the procedures manual, that is a statutory violation, because it's a law. >> yes, sir. >> so my understanding is that the senate president attempted to reach out and attempted to work with the county, but that, uh, for whatever reason, an impasse was reached and the --
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the subpoenas were issued, and the ultimate issue was compliance and whether there was contempt on the part of the board in responding to those some questions. mr. sellers? >> as i mentioned earlier, i had met personally with the senate president numerous times, telling her that if there were -- if there were serious issues or questions that needed to be answered, i wanted to help get those answers. and she felt that -- well, and i'll back up a little bit, because the two additional audits we did after the election was over were really done to answer questions that had been given to us by the -- by the arizona senate. >> i thank the gentlelady. >> the gentleman yields back. i now recognize myself.
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people are coming in and logging in at the end here. our good friend, committee member jackie speier, is now recognized for five minutes for questions. >> thank you, madam chair. and i have been on for a good part, i'm also in the middle of an intelligence committee hearing, but i did want to get back on, since there are still questions that need to be answered. let me ask you, mr. bennett, you've been a public servant. do you condemn political violence in this country including attacks on elected officials and elected representatives? >> of course. >> of course. >> i've had death threats myself. >> okay. so you know that chairman sellers and supervisor gates and their staff have received threats against their safety. the district of columbia experienced political violence on numerous occasions in the weeks following the election. i was one of the members in the house gallery lying on the floor
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when the shots rang out, thinking that i was going to die that day. making sure we quell violence is critical. with that in mind, it's very important that we identify those organizations that have sought to further inflame tension. one of those groups is look ahead america. on september 24, this group held a rally in arizona in which nearly half of the attendees were proud boys, which is an organization identified as a far right neo-fascist group. have you ever heard of the organization look ahead america, yes or no? >> yes, ma'am. >> and you know this group has been associated with violent hard right activities for a long time? >> i'm not aware of that, ma'am. >> the group tweeted that it would participate in a conference hosted by nick fuentes, a well-known neo-nazi.
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you are currently listed on look ahead america's, quote, leadership, unquote, page as a state chairman. according to the page, you are the fifth highest ranking individual in this organization. i am kind of astonished that you would be associated with a group such as this let alone take a leadership role. your biography on the group's website notes that you served as, quote, senate liaison for maricopa county 2020 election audit. mr. bennett, you said a few weeks ago that you are on a, quote, leave of absence from this organization to focus on election review. is this true? >> yes, i was working on a voter registration project in arizona known as az 51. az 51 connected with, umm, look ahead america, who wanted to help that process in arizona. and az 51 decided to transition the voter registration project
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over to look ahead arizona which was formed by look ahead america. so i'm -- i'm with look ahead arizona, which is an affiliate of look ahead america. but i have been on leave of absence as i've been contributing my time to the audit without pay. >> all right. so you've been trying to establish some independence; is that correct? >> independence from whom? >> from the organization, since you're on a leave of absence. >> i was already involved in the audit, congresswoman, when the az 51 voter registration project transitioned to look ahead arizona. >> no, but -- >> i'm not trying to establish independence. i was already involved in the audit when that transition occurred. >> all right. but in september 7 of "arizona republic" article, you said, quote, i still consult with matt
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on, you know, who does he need to talk to around the state and help the efforts of look ahead arizona and voter registration. matt, i believe, is the executive director of look ahead america. it seems difficult that you could claim that you are on a leave of absence from the group but are still consulting with it and actually recommending who the group's executive director should be meeting with. so i really am concerned that as an elected official, as someone who you admittedly say you have had death threats, to all of us and to the arizona county supervisors who have experienced death threats, why the engagement with groups like the proud boys, who were part of this effort in arizona prior to the election, but somehow not be
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recognized by you as antithetical to quelling violence, and in effect encouraging it. with that, madam chair, i will yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. and i believe that concludes all of the members that wanted to ask questions. i will now proceed with my closing remarks. i want to thank all of the witnesses today for helping our committee understand the facts about the so-called audit in arizona and all of my colleagues who participated, in particular thank you to mr. sellers and to mr. gates and to the other elected officials who endured months of abuse, insults, and threats for simply doing your job. thank you for having the courage to speak the truth today and to testify before the committee. the committee had also wanted to hear from cyber ninjas, but doug logan refused to appear today to
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testify under oath. that is probably because the facts about his audit are so damning. this audit was designed to find fraud. but it didn't find any fraud. it was backed by millions of dollars, $6.7 million, from partisan dark money groups. and it spent a year studying the election. but in the end, cyber ninjas came up with absolutely nothing. no fraud, no missing votes for trump, no change in the election outcome. so now, even after this huge audit, some of my colleagues are refusing to accept even their own biased audit, claiming that there is still uncertainty about the election in arizona.
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donald trump is even claiming the audit showed he won. a nonpartisan fact checker rated that claim as absolutely false and gave him the designation of pants on fire. i ask permission to pull the the statement in the article about it in the record. and so let's be clear. donald trump did not win in arizona. and he did not win the election. he lost. and in the cyber ninja audit, he lost. but unless trump and his admirers are willing to admit this truth and respect the will of the american voters, our democracy is at serious risk, as mr. sellers and mr. gates testified. the barrage of lies about the 2020 election has inflicted grave damage already. these lies are undermining public confidence in our
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elections. they are fostering efforts across the country to hold more partisan audits and pass anti-democratic laws to suppress votes and allow elected officials to overturn elections when their preferred candidates lose. free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy. whether you are a republican or a democrat, all of us should care about these threats to our elections. this committee will use every tool at its disposal to fight back against the lies and conspiracy theories that have been allowed to grow for too long in our country. i ask like-minded americans, both democrats and republicans, to join us in this fight. we all have an obligation to stand up for the democratic values that we all hold so dear. with that, i in closing want to
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thank our panelists for their remarks. i commend my colleagues for their participation. without objection all members have five legislative days within which to submit materials and submit original written questions from the witnesses to the chair which will be forwarded to the witnesses for their response. i ask our witnesses to please respond as promptly as you are able. this meeting is adjourned.
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[ indiscernible conversation ]
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