During a rally in Arizona last month, Trump ad-libbed a diatribe about Maricopa’s routers that indicated he had no earthly idea what computer routers actually are.
“If you got those routers, what that will show,” Trump asserted, calling on random people named “Wendy” and “Sonny” and “Kelly” to give up the routers. “And they don’t want to give up routers, they don’t want to give ’em. They are fighting like hell.”
Trump’s router meltdown appeared to riff off yet another conspiracy theory that Italian satellites somehow altered the county’s vote counts in favor of Joe Biden. In actuality, Maricopa computers were never connected to the internet, as one Maricopa board member, Bill Gates (no, not that Bill Gates) explained on CNN last week.
The whole effort is a classic Trump formula—plant an entirely bogus seed, legitimize it with a supposed investigation, and let your delusional cult following do the rest. Just like Trump told Justice Department officials last December as he urged them to lie about potential election fraud, “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.” The DOJ officials declined to do so.
But back here on earth, what is connected to the routers in Maricopa County are services that have nothing to do with the elections. Instead, they include a ton of sensitive information about private citizens and local law enforcement communications.
“Maricopa County repeatedly has addressed the significant security risks posed by producing its routers,” said a Maricopa County attorney, Thomas Liddy, in a 5-page letter that accompanied the board’s curt response. “Specifically, providing these routers puts sensitive, confidential data belonging to Maricopa County citizens—including social security numbers and protected health information—at risk.”
Liddy also explained that producing the routers would make the county Sheriff Office’s “internal law enforcement communications infrastructure extremely vulnerable to hackers, be they criminal cartels, terrorists, or foreign powers.”
Gee, that senate GOP request is sounding kinda bad and misguided and, well, just plain stupid. But it’s perfectly on brand for Trump and his Republican bootlickers.
The letter from Maricopa board chair Sellers concluded, “It’s time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracies. Release your report and be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court. It’s time to move on.”
In short, Arizona’s audit wars continue to rip the party apart in the state’s largest county.