Arizona audit Senate liaison Ken Bennett said Wednesday afternoon that he will be staying on in his current position after saying earlier in the day he would not.
In a text to The Western Journal, Bennett wrote that he and Senate President Karen Fann “are working on a joint statement,” which would be released later in the day or Thursday and include him “continuing as Senate liaison.”
Earlier Wednesday, the former Arizona secretary of State told Phoenix-based radio talk show host James T. Harris, “Right now I’m the liaison in name only. I don’t know if that makes me a LINO or what.”
“I won’t pretend to be part of a process, or pretend to be the liaison when I’m not,” he added, saying he would be putting out a statement regarding his resignation.
However, multiple times during the interview Bennett stated he wanted to be part of putting together the final report.
— James T Harris (@JamesTHarris) July 28, 2021
“I’d really love to be part of making sure that the final report is put together with factual information and all substantiated,” Bennett said.
“So I will absolutely be a part of helping vet the final report,” he added. “But not last minute.”
Senate President Karen Fann tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Bennett would be an “important part” of the final reports.
“The counting of the ballots is complete and they are being returned to Maricopa County. Now we wait for the draft and final reports. Ken Bennett will be an important part of those reports,” she wrote in response to Arizona Capitol Times reporter Dillon Rosenblatt’s tweet that Bennett was apparently no longer involved with the audit.
The counting of the ballots is complete and they are being returned to Maricopa County. Now we wait for the draft and final reports. Ken Bennett will be an important part of those reports https://t.co/lHJb1DK7Li
— Karen Fann (@FannKfann) July 28, 2021
Bennett had been barred from entering the audit location Friday after reportedly sharing 24 boxes of ballots to a separate auditing firm, KNXV-TV reported.
In a Tuesday statement, Fann referenced the matter of Bennett sharing information with someone outside of the audit.
“As Mr. Bennett was quoted in the media, ‘I shared some box counts of how many ballots were in each box, and that got leaked to the press and I apologized to Senate President Fann. I had promised that information would not be leaked to the press, but it indirectly got done, so that’s how I got barred from the audit,'” Fann’s statement read.
“It is irresponsible to disclose partial information to the media since they are not ‘confirmed’ facts until the audit is final,” the Senate president added. “This only leads to confusion and misinformation with the public. For that reason, it is imperative anyone working with the audit is required to adhere to the rules of not disclosing unconfirmed information.”
Fann concluded that with the “hands on” work complete, the analysis of the data collected will be the focus of the audit going forward.
“The voters deserve to know their votes are safe, secure and legally counted,” she said. “To that end, Ken Bennett will be involved and a vital part of the draft and final reports to ensure their accuracy with his knowledge and contributions throughout the audit process.”
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