All 16 Republicans in the Arizona Senate co-sponsored a resolution calling for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to be held in contempt and arrested for refusing to comply with wide-ranging subpoenas for election equipment and materials.
The Board of Supervisors in Maricopa County in Arizona are in a lot of trouble.
Senate Resolution 1005 directs Senate President Karen Fann to “take all legal action pursuant to section 41-1153” of state law, which says that any “witness neglecting or refusing to attend in obedience to a subpoena may be arrested by the sergeant-at-arms and brought before the senate or house.”
Senate rules, which can only be waived with a two-thirds vote of the chamber, require a resolution to be read three times on separate days before a final vote. The chamber is adjourned on Friday, meaning the earliest a vote could take place would be Monday. Given the likelihood that all 14 Senate Democrats will vote against it, the resolution would require the unanimous vote of the Republican caucus to pass.
The supervisors have challenged the subpoenas in court, arguing that the Senate lacks the legal authority to seek some of the requested materials. But though a judge has not yet ruled on whether the Senate can legally demand the materials, Fann moved forward with a contempt resolution after the supervisors on Tuesday refused a request to set a date for when the county will comply with the subpoenas.
Statements from Vice Chairman @billgatesaz and Supervisor @Steve_Gallardo regarding the effort to hold the Board of Supervisors in contempt of the Arizona Senate for not turning over 2.1 million ballots cast in the November election. pic.twitter.com/hhB7uq0RAh
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) February 3, 2021
The subpoenas issued by Fann and Sen. Warren Petersen, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, demand that Maricopa County turn over ballot tabulation machines, 2.1 million ballots and other materials and data from the 2020 general election.
Maricopa County has expressed concerns about who would be examining its voting machines if it complied with the subpoena.
The Senate announced on Friday that it has selected and hired a firm to conduct the audit. Fann later told the Arizona Mirror that nothing is final and that other firms are under consideration as well.
Supervisor Jack Sellers, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said it was “frustrating that the Senate would even consider” finding the board in contempt. He said state law bars the release of the ballots, and if the Senate wants them, it should convince a judge to allow access.
“If they truly believe in the legality of their position, they will join us in seeking a solution through the courts,” Sellers, a Republican, said in a press statement on Tuesday, after Petersen raised the possibility of finding the supervisors in contempt, including arresting them and charging them with misdemeanor offenses.
Republicans hold a 4-1 majority on the Board of Supervisors. All five members have repeatedly defended the integrity of the general election from fraud allegations that have proliferated since the election.