Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was recently elected as the House Republican Conference chair, said that the Department of Justice’s questions about the audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, Arizona, may be unconstitutional.
The Justice Department on May 5 sent a letter to Arizona Senate Leader Karen Fann, a Republican, inquiring about the custody of the ballots under review by a group of private contractors, alleging that it other processes—including the canvassing of addresses—could be “voter intimidation.”
“I support that audit,” Stefanik said after being asked about the audit in a Fox Business interview Sunday. “Transparency is good for the American people. And again, this should be a non-partisan issue, whether you are Republican, Democrat, independent, or conservative, transparency is important and the audit was passed by the Arizona State Senate.”
Stefanik later said that the “Biden Department of Justice is trying to block that audit,” which, she said, “is unconstitutional from my perspective.” She continued: “Our states, constitutionally, are responsible for writing states’ constitution law.”
Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote to Fann that a “description of the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters.” Fann, in response, said that the plan by election auditors to verify the validity of certain voters is was placed on hold.
“If and to the extent the Senate subsequently decides that canvassing is necessary to the successful completion of the audit, its vendor will implement detailed requirements to ensure that the canvassing is conducted in a manner that complies fully with the commands of the United States Constitution and federal and state civil rights laws,” Fann wrote earlier this month.
Stefanik’s comments Sunday came just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County officials said they would not provide passwords for election machines in Maricopa County. Dominion argued that it would comply with the audit, but it added that Cyber Ninjas—the company hired by the state Senate—isn’t accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Justice for comment.
Stefanik, meanwhile, was approved by House Republicans in a vote last week to become the Republican Conference chair, the party’s No. 3 positions in the House. She took over after GOP lawmakers voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, from that same position.
Stefanik had received support from Trump as well as other House GOP leaders.