Arizona state Senate President Sen. Karen Fann and Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend, both of whom are Republicans, have been subpoenaed by the FBI in apparent connection to wide-ranging federal investigations into post-2020 election attempts to secure another term for Trump despite his loss.
Fann bore responsibility on the state legislative side for the infamous post-election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, conducted by Cyber Ninjas — a firm that didn’t actually have any election-auditing experience when brought in to run the effort. Fann “ordered the partisan review of the 2020 election in Maricopa County,” The Arizona Republic explains. That audit — which unsurprisingly turned up no actual evidence of systematic election fraud — was performed under the direction of GOP state senators, who subpoenaed and successfully obtained materials from the 2020 elections from local authorities in the county. County officials consistently pushed back on the audit. Credible examinations of the electoral process had already taken place, as they had elsewhere in the U.S. Fann acknowledged to the Republic that she received a subpoena from the FBI.
Fann characterized the FBI’s subpoena in a bizarre fashion, calling it a Freedom of Information Act request “in the form of a subpoena for my emails and communications.” “I’m instructed not to discuss,” she added. Reportedly, federal authorities were after materials related to communications between Fann, then-President Donald Trump himself, and Trump’s team, although Fann declined to confirm that element of available reporting. Instead, the Senate leader said she’s “pretty sure everything they’ve asked for has already been foiaed numerous times over the past 18 months.” “Foiaed” would mean requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
Fann has previously, however, confirmed that she’d in fact been in contact with Trump and individuals close to him, at least according to her telling. Shortly after the last election, Fann told Arizona state House Speaker Rep. Rusty Bowers, another Republican, that “Trump’s advocates” had repeatedly gotten in touch to push for her assistance in overcoming Biden in Arizona, as the Republic summarizes it. Additionally, in December of 2020, Fann told a constituent she had been involved in “numerous conversations with Rudy Giuliani over the past weeks trying to get this done,” adding: “I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.” In other words, it certainly sounds as though Fann was eager to go along with the now former president’s ambitions.
Townsend, meanwhile, confirmed that she received a subpoena but offered no additional remarks on the matter when questioned by the Republic. She indicated to another outlet, though, that records of communications with lawyers for Trump were a focus of the federal push. She also indicated she was complying. It doesn’t seem like a particularly great time to be a close ally of the former president — there’s been a wave of federal investigative activity related to attempts to boost Trump’s desperate bid to stay in office no matter his well-documented loss.
Kelli and Michael Ward — the former of whom is the current chair of the Arizona GOP — were recently also subpoenaed by federal authorities in connection to their part in an attempt to assemble an essentially faked slate of electoral votes for Trump from Arizona, although Biden won there. Other high-profile individuals who’ve recently faced Justice Department action include the chair of the Nevada GOP, whose phone was seized, former Trump lawyer John Eastman, whose phone was also seized, and former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, whose residence was searched.