Here's the list of the 'Stop the Steal' nonprofits paying Cyber Ninjas millions for the Arizona election audit
A handful of nonprofits whose leaders have said widespread voter fraud led to President Joe Biden's win in the 2020 election have poured more than $5.6 million into the Arizona election audit so far, according to the company running the audit.
That list includes nonprofits associated with several of former President Donald Trump's allies and supporters.
The information was provided weeks after lawsuits were filed in court by The Arizona Republic and another group seeking information on how the audit is being conducted, the businesses doing the work, where the money is coming from and what officials are saying to each other about it.
Cyber Ninjas received funds from five advocacy nonprofits and charitable organizations, at least a few of which were established in the past year for the sole purpose of fundraising for the audit, according to a list the company released.
The list includes organizations such as The America Project, run by former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and Voices & Votes, founded by Christina Bobb and Chanel Rion, correspondents of the far-right media group One America News Network.
Funders also include groups associated with Trump attorney Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security adviser.
The numbers on the list released by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan late Wednesday did not quite add up. The news release identified five groups as having donated a total of $5,711,514.43 but provided individual amounts that total $5,661,514.43, making for a $50,000 discrepancy.
Cyber Ninjas inadvertently included the $50,000 it has already received from the Arizona Senate in the total, spokesperson Rod Thomson said Thursday afternoon.
The Arizona Senate agreed to pay Cyber Ninjas $150,000, with one-third of that due up front, according to a Senate-released document.
The audit was made possible by the Senate's Republican leaders, who got the county's 2.1 million ballots, vote counting machines and other materials for the audit through subpoenas in April.
Senate President Karen Fann has said the audit is intended to help state lawmakers learn how they can improve elections, but the groups putting millions toward the effort have expressed different views.
Bobb, for example, has said on air multiple times that the election should be decertified if the results of the audit call into question the county's election results.
List of donors
Here's the list released by Cyber Ninjas accounting for the donations.
- Byrne's The America Project — $3,250,000.
- Flynn's America's Future — $976,514.43.
- Bobb's Voices and Votes — $605,000.
- Powell's Defending The Republic — $550,000.
- Michigan attorney Matthew DePerno's LDFFTAR/EIFFTAR — $280,000.
"Our sponsors have raised and provided over $5 million; and tens of thousands of you have prayed for the work of our hands to determine truth, whatever it may be," Logan said in a statement.
The America Project
The America Project was founded by Byrne, who since Nov. 3 has been claiming that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Byrne has said on social messaging app Telegram that he donated most of the $3.25 million that the organization contributed to the audit.
Byrne wrote a book called "The Deep Rig," in which he used vague claims to raise suspicions about the outcome of the 2020 election. The book was turned into a movie with the same name, which did the same to raise suspicions that voting systems were hacked and fake ballots were inserted into the election, without providing proof.
Logan, overseeing Arizona's election review, appeared in the film saying, "If we don’t fix our election integrity now, we may no longer have a democracy."
Mike Flynn and Sidney Powell
Flynn is the board chairman of America's Future Inc., a nonprofit which says on its website it aims to "preserve American values and ideals" and "protect the nation’s Constitutional Republic."
Flynn is a retired Army general who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador before Trump's inauguration. Trump pardoned him in November.
He has become one of the most prominent and vocal promoters of the idea that the election was stolen from Trump, at one point calling for martial law so that the military could re-run the elections in battleground states Trump lost to Biden.
Flynn and his brother Joe appear in "The Deep Rig," movie with Byrne.
Joe Flynn is connected with another organization on the list, Defending the Republic. The organization is run by Powell, and Joe Flynn and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell are directors, according to a Florida state government website.
Powell is a former Trump attorney who filed a series of lawsuits in states across the U.S. challenging the 2020 election that were thrown out by the courts. She now faces sanctions based on false claims she made in those lawsuits.
The Legal Defense Fund for the American Republic is raising money for election integrity or election audits. DePerno, who represented the interests of a Michigan resident who launched a failed election fraud lawsuit in Antrim County, Michigan, says he created the fund. Cyber Ninjas' Logan, along with another Senate subcontractor, CyFIR, participated in an audit of voting machines related to that case. The case was dismissed and the associated report about fraud debunked.
Voices and Votes was founded by Bobb and Rion.
The organization "works to protect free speech from cancel culture and ensures that American voices are heard where it matters most, the ballot box," according to its website.
Bobb previously worked for Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, collecting witnesses to testify at a hearing Giuliani hosted with state lawmakers in November in which they presented unfounded claims of election fraud.
She has been reporting on the audit since it began, at the same time she raises money on air for her organization.
Public records cases being heard in court
Cyber Ninjas released the information on the funders of the audit with two public records cases pending in Maricopa County Superior Court demanding financial records and communications related to the audit.
A Superior Court judge ruled earlier this month that communications between Senate Republicans, the company called Cyber Ninjas and other vendors they hired to audit Maricopa County's 2020 election are public documents.
Judge Michael Kemp said "any and all" records with a "substantial nexus" to the audit are public records, including all communications related to planning the audit, policies and procedures of the audit and all records disclosing who is paying for the audit and how much is being paid.
The nonprofit group American Oversight sued Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, and the Senate, seeking communications with the companies regarding what the senators call a "forensic audit" of the election that Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden. The Senate asked for the case to be dismissed, but Kemp refused.
American Oversight was formed to investigate the Trump administration, and its founders have Democratic ties.
A lawsuit filed by The Arizona Republic on June 30 seeks to obtain financial records and communications about the audit from the Senate and Cyber Ninjas, the contractor it hired to lead the work.
The Republic had earlier requested the information through the Arizona Public Records Law but was denied access, prompting the legal complaint.
Documents related to the audit are public records because the audit is being conducted under the direction of the Senate, a public body, and the Senate is required to make available records that are in the custody or control of Cyber Ninjas, the complaint argues.
Republic reporter Ryan Randazzo contributed to this article.
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