Although former President Donald Trump has repeatedly cited concerns about election interference and fraud in November’s presidential election, his critics are now flipping the same allegations back on him.
Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs reportedly sent a letter this week to Mark Brnovich, the state’s Republican attorney general, demanding an investigation into alleged interference by Trump and his allies in Maricopa County in the weeks following the election.
“Appropriate enforcement action”
According to the Washington Examiner, Hobbs suspects Trump and others — including former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward — sought to inappropriately pressure county officials overseeing the ballot count and election certification.
The secretary of state hopes to stage a successful gubernatorial bid next year and is raising her profile with the latest allegations against Trump and his allies.
A report by the Arizona Republic indicated that Hobbs cited prior developments in her letter, including voice and text messages from Trump, Giuliani, and Ward that were intended for Republican County Supervisor Clint Hickman and other officials.
The messages left by Ward specifically were described as efforts to persuade officials to either delay the vote count or support Trump’s calls for additional investigations into allegedly altered ballots.
Hobbs called for a probe and “appropriate enforcement action” against those possibly responsible for criminal election interference.
“Threats of political retribution”
Citing a state law provision that prohibits knowingly interfering in the duties of election officials, she said the calls and texts “involve clear efforts to induce supervisors to refuse to comply with their duties.”
In her letter, Hobbs went on to agree with Brnovich’s recently stated position that fair and free elections “are the cornerstone of our republic,” declaring that Arizona law “protects election officials from those who would seek to interfere with their sacred duties” to carry out the will of the state’s voters.
“At the polling place, this law protects the right to vote,” she wrote. “At the counting center, it protects the accuracy of results, free from political interference. But what protection exists for officials who fulfill their duties despite threats of political retribution if the person empowered to enforce the law is unwilling to do the same?”
If such a probe is launched in Arizona, it would be the second such investigation into alleged interference by the former president.
Trump is already facing scrutiny from a Georgia prosecutor over claims that he attempted to improperly pressure that state’s GOP secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” more votes and flip the election in his favor.