‘Truth is truth’: Trump dealt blow as Republican-led Arizona audit reaffirms Biden win

People gather outside Arizona Government building ahead of the announcement of interim findings from a widely criticized audit of the 2020 election in Phoenix, Arizona, September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden in Arizona’s most populous county, a review of results by his allies in the Republican Party has reaffirmed, capping a widely panned effort spurred by Trump’s false claims of voter fraud.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, the Republican who paved the way for the so-called “full forensic audit” of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, said the review’s overall vote tally matched the initial results in November.

“Truth is truth, numbers are numbers,” Fann said at a Senate hearing on the review, which found only small variations, yielding 99 additional votes for Biden and 261 fewer votes for Trump. “Those numbers were close, within a few hundred.”

The conclusion will dismay Trump supporters who had pushed for the review, many in the expectation that it would prove his unfounded assertions that he was robbed of re-election due to orchestrated fraud. So far no such proof has been produced either by Trump or his backers.

Outside groups tied to the “Stop the Steal” movement and other efforts to cast doubt on the 2020 results raised nearly all of the $6 million to fund the inquiry, viewing it as a catalyst for similar investigations in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other battleground states that Trump lost.

In Texas on Thursday, the secretary of state’s office said the state had begun an audit of the presidential election in its four largest counties – Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Collin – an announcement that came hours after Trump publicly called for such a move. Although Trump carried Texas, Biden won three of the targeted counties.

Trump, who had predicted the Arizona inquiry would substantiate his claims, issued a statement that appeared at odds with the review’s findings, calling it “a big win for democracy and a big win for us.”

Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election lawyer who represented Republican George W. Bush when he prevailed over Democrat Al Gore in a 2000 electoral dispute, called the review’s conclusions a “huge defeat” for Trump.

“This was Donald Trump’s best chance to prove his cases of elections being rigged and fraudulent and they failed,” Ginsberg said on a media call organized by the States United Democracy Center, a nonpartisan policy group.

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