Michael Wines for the NYT:
Almost half a year after the election Mr. Trump lost, the promised audit has become a snipe hunt for skulduggery that has spanned a court battle, death threats and calls to arrest the elected leadership of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.
The head of Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based firm that Republican senators hired to oversee the audit, has embraced Mr. Trump’s baseless theories of election theft and has suggested, contrary to available evidence, that Mr. Trump actually won Arizona by 200,000 votes. The pro-Trump cable channel One America News Network has started a fund-raiser to finance the venture and has been named one of the nonpartisan observers that will keep the audit on the straight and narrow.
In fact, three previous reviews showed no sign of significant fraud or any reason to doubt President Biden’s victory. But the senators now plan to recount — by hand — all 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, two-thirds of the entire vote statewide.
Critics in both parties charge that an effort that began as a way to placate angry Trump voters has become a political embarrassment and another blow to the once-inviolable democratic norm that losers and winners alike honor the results of elections.
“You know the dog that caught the car?” said Steve Gallardo, the lone Democrat on the Republican-dominated Maricopa Board of Supervisors. “The dog doesn’t know what to do with it.”