March 17, 2023

ACCOUNTABILITY: Arizona Governor just asked for ethics probe of former GOP Attorney General

ACCOUNTABILITY: Arizona Governor just asked for ethics probe of former GOP Attorney General

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The defeat of Republican candidates for statewide office in Arizona is resulting in some serious consequences for at least one of the losing candidates as Governor Katie Hobbs is calling for an investigation into what she calls “likely unethical conduct” by former Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Hobbs announced her request in a letter sent to the State Bar of Arizona after Brnovich was found to have withheld the findings by his own investigative team that refuted GOP claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election even as Brnovich fought to overturn the election results,

Brnovich has been a staunch ally of former president Donald Trump and a leading voice in the Republican Party’s efforts to restrict voting rights.

In the letter sent to the State Bar by Bo Dul, Hobbs’s general counsel, Brnovich’s deceitful conduct was described as “harmful to our democracy, our State, and the legal profession itself.”

The ethics investigation would be focused on Brnovich’s conduct in the aftermath of the 2022 election, during which he filed multiple lawsuits challenging the results and made baseless claims of voter fraud. Critics say that Brnovich’s actions were aimed at appeasing Trump and his supporters, rather than upholding the integrity of the election.

According to The Washington Post, records subsequently released by Brnovich’s successor as Arizona Attorney General, Kris Mayes, “reveal that Brnovich’s team brushed off edits made by investigators when he released an ‘Interim Report’ last year warning of ‘serious vulnerabilities’ with voting in Maricopa County. Memos and other documents also show that the then-attorney general sat on more conclusive reports that systematically debunked fraud claims leveled by state lawmakers and self-styled ‘election integrity’ groups.”

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“The people of Arizona had a right to know this information before the 2022 election,” Mayes told The Post earlier this week. “Maricopa County election officials had a right to know that they were cleared of wrongdoing. And every American had a right to know that the 2020 election in Arizona, which in part decided the presidency, was conducted accurately and fairly,”

Voters in Arizona were equally critical of the former Attorney General’s antics.

“Mark Brnovich has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rule of law and the democratic process,” said one voting rights activist. “We welcome this investigation by the State Bar of Arizona and we hope that it will shed light on the full extent of his wrongdoing.”

“Mark Brnovich put his own political ambitions above the will of the people,” said one Arizona resident. “He knew that his claims of voter fraud were baseless, but he pursued them anyway because he wanted to curry favor with Donald Trump and the Republican Party.”

Brnovich, for his part, has defended his actions and denied any wrongdoing. He has also accused the State Bar of Arizona of being politically motivated, saying that the investigation is an attempt to silence his voice as a conservative.

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“I have always stood up for what I believe in, even when it’s not popular,” said Brnovich in a statement. “I will not be deterred by these baseless attacks on my character and my record.”

“While subjected to severe criticism from all sides of the political spectrum during the course of our investigations, we did our due diligence to run all complaints to ground,” Brnovich said in that statement. “Where we were able to debunk rumors and conspiracies, we did so. Nevertheless, we also identified areas we believe the legislature and county officials should address to ensure confidence in future elections.”

However, many see the investigation as a necessary step towards holding Brnovich accountable for his actions. They say that his attempts to undermine the election and restrict voting rights pose a direct threat to democracy and must be met with swift action.

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“Mark Brnovich has shown a complete disregard for the will of the people and the principles of democracy,” said one voting rights advocate. “We cannot allow him or anyone else to get away with this kind of behavior.”

If the State Bar of Arizona agrees to proceed with the investigation, it is expected to take several months, and the results could have significant implications for Brnovich’s political future.

Such an investigation would serve as a reminder of the importance of upholding the integrity of our elections and holding those in positions of power accountable for their actions.

As the fight for voting rights continues across the country, the actions of figures like Mark Brnovich will be closely scrutinized, and those who seek to undermine our democracy will be held accountable.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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