U.S. House panel calls for Cyber Ninjas' CEO to testify on Arizona ballot review
A congressional committee that has for months been seeking information relating to the company conducting Arizona's long-running ballot review now wants the firm's CEO to testify next month about the matter.
Citing his repeated "obstruction," the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter late Thursday to Doug Logan, the head of Cyber Ninjas, saying his appearance has become necessary to understand what it characterized as a "questionable audit."
The Democrat-controlled panel's request came a day ahead of the scheduled release of his company's review for the Arizona Senate and signals the national concerns among Democrats over its implications. The committee wants him to testify at an Oct. 7 hearing.
"This request follows your repeated refusal to produce documents requested by the Committee regarding this largely privately funded audit," wrote Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who chairs the committee.
"As a result of your obstruction, your participation in a Committee hearing is necessary for the Committee to advance the investigation of the questionable audit your company performed and to examine whether this audit is interfering with Americans’ right to vote free from partisan interference."
The committee stopped short of a subpoena that would seek to legally compel Logan's appearance. The committee gave Logan until Sept. 30 to indicate whether he intends to appear.
The request by the House's main investigatory panel comes after it has sought documents related to Cyber Ninjas' audit procedures, its funding sources and other issues. The Florida-based company has only provided records that were publicly known already.
Maloney made clear when she began seeking information in July that she viewed the effects of Arizona's ballot review as rippling far outside the state.
She reiterated those concerns in her latest letter, saying the committee is "investigating the extent to which your company’s actions have undermined the integrity of federal elections and interfered with Americans’ constitutional right to cast their ballot freely and
to have their votes counted without partisan interference."
Cyber Ninjas has asserted to Congress that the company is legally shielded from turning over more information because of legislative and attorney-client privileges.
Maloney rejects those claims as baseless, saying Congress has long had the ability to get information relating to state government operations when it relates to areas of federal legislative interest.
The ballot review's findings are expected to differ slightly from Maricopa County's certified results.A draft report obtained by The Arizona Republic said President Joe Biden won the county by 360 more votes than the certified results showed. Election experts say small tallying differences are inevitable in large elections. The county had 2.1 million ballots cast in the presidential election last year.
Biden won the county by about 45,000 votes and won Arizona overall by less than 11,000 votes.
Beyond the margin, however, the ballot review is expected to address discrepancies between signatures on mail-in ballots and those on file with the county. And Cyber Ninjas could assail the county's election processes more broadly as well.
Former President Donald Trump has monitored the ballot review throughout the year and, during a July appearance in Phoenix, publicly pressed Attorney General Mark Brnovich to take action when the review is completed.
“Hopefully he’s going to do what everybody knows has to be done,” Trump said of Brnovich, who is running for the U.S. Senate in a Republican primary where Trump’s endorsement could be decisive.
The committee previously has sought documents wanting to know if anyone has exerted "inappropriate influence over the audit and to determine the extent to which partisanship and conspiracy theories compromised the credibility of this audit."
The Democrats' move comes as their party is trying to build support for an overhaul of federal voting rules, though that effort appears blocked in the Senate, with Republicans promising a filibuster Democrats cannot break under Senate rules.
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