Maricopa County Official Admits They Deleted Election Data Before the Arizona Audit

A U.S. House Committee for Oversight and Reform hearing on the Arizona election review exploded into fireworks after a Maricopa County election official admitted that the county officials effectively deleted election data from materials turned over to auditors after receiving a legal subpoena from the Arizona Senate.

Maricopa County Supervisors Jack Sellers and Bill Gates, David Becker of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, Gowri Ramachandran of the Brennan Center for Justice and Arizona Senate audit liaison Ken Bennett appeared before the committee.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) cross-examined Maricopa County Vice Chairman Bill Gates on the deletion of data in the materials turned over to the Arizona auditors.

“Is it standard practice to delete files off a server after an election, Mr. Bennett?” Biggs asked.

“I hope not,” Bennett responded.

“So, Mr. Gates, will you agree with that?” Biggs asked.

“I would say that is it appropriate to maintain files and that’s exactly what we did,” Gates replied. “We deleted, the deleted files had been discussed, they were archived.”

“So, so you admit that you guys did delete, Maricop County did delete files off the server after the election?” Biggs pressed.

“That were – that are archived,” Gates responded.

“Yeah, and so when you released these servers and this information to the auditors to begin with, they did not have access to those archived files, at first, is that fair to say?” Biggs continued.

“They did not subpoena those,” Gates replied. “That’s correct.”

Biggs laughed at the brazen confession.

“So, you didn’t feel obligated to turn that over then to them?” Biggs queried.

“We responded to the subpoena,” Gates said.

“Okay, Mr. Bennett, your response to that?” Biggs asked.

Arizona Senate audit liaison Ken Bennett responded with indignance.

“I find it frankly laughable to suggest that a county in response to a subpoena could say we will delete files from the hard drives and the materials we give to the auditors because we have those files archived on data that we did not give to the auditors, when the subpoena said ‘turn over all materials related to the election’,” Bennett said.

Also at the hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. Biggs clashed over the audit results. Raskin attested that he could not understand why Arizona representatives challenged “the result by which they themselves were elected.” Raskin then asked Biggs if he would accept the audit result that purportely showed Biden won by even more votes than the official tally.

“That is not what the audit concluded, Mr. Raskin. You know better than that,” Biggs responded. “Have you read the whole audit or are you cherry-picking the line which talks about the recount versus the tabulation machines?”

“Well, who won the election is my question, Mr. Biggs? I’m happy to yield to you for that. Who won the election in Arizona, Donald Trump or Joe Biden?” Raskin asked.

“We don’t know because as the audit demonstrates very clearly, Mr. Raskin, there are a lot of issues with this election that took place,” Biggs replied.

After Raskin tried to interrupt Biggs, the Arizona representative accused him of taking part in a “big lie.”

“Speaking of the big lie, you can continue to perpetuate it as long as you want,” Biggs said.