The Republican who now leads the Arizona county elections department targeted by a GOP audit of the 2020 election results is slamming former President Trump and others in his party for their continued falsehoods about how the election was run. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer on Saturday called a Trump statement accusing the county of deleting an elections database "unhinged," the AP reports, and called on other Republicans to stop the unfounded accusations. "We can't indulge these insane lies any longer. As a party. As a state. As a country,' Richer tweeted. Richer became recorder in January, after defeating the Democratic incumbent. Trump's statement came as Republican Senate President Karen Fann has demanded the GOP-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors come to the Senate to answer questions raised by the private auditors she has hired.
The Senate took possession of 2.1 million ballots and election equipment last month for what was supposed to be a three-week hand recount of the presidential race won by President Biden. Instead, the auditors have moved at a snail's pace and had to shut down Thursday after counting about 500,000 ballots. They plan to resume counting in a week, after high school graduation ceremonies planned for the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, which they rented for the recount. Trump's statement said, in part, that "the entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED! This is illegal and the Arizona State Senate, who is leading the Forensic Audit, is up in arms." Richer and the board say that statement is just plain wrong. "Enough with the unfounded allegations," Richer tweeted. (Trump told supporters they'll like his decision on running in 2024.)