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Cyber Ninjas says it has received $5.7 million in private donations to fund the Arizona ballot audit

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/29/2021 (Mia Jankowicz)
a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Cyber Ninjas contractors examine and recount Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election. Matt York/AP © Matt York/AP Cyber Ninjas contractors examine and recount Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election. Matt York/AP
  • Cyber Ninjas leads the widely-criticized election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.
  • It said it has received $5.7 million in donations toward the audit.
  • Most of the funds come from prominent Trump supporters such as Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The company contracted to audit the 2020 presidential election result in Arizona's Maricopa County has said that it had received $5.7 million from pro-Trump groups toward the effort, according to multiple reports.

Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan announced the figures on Wednesday following an extensive request for documentation from Congress' Oversight and Reform Committee.

The ballot audit has run since April 22 after Arizona's GOP-led Senate contracted the cybersecurity company for a nominal taxpayer-paid fee of $150,000.

However, the company - which had no prior experience in election audits - was also allowed to collect donations toward the effort.

Video: 'Cyber Ninja' company in AZ ballot stunt under investigation by House Oversight Committee (MSNBC)


The Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifeld tweeted a breakdown of the figures, which come largely from right-wing groups:

  • The largest named donor - The America Project with $3,250,000 - is led by former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, who met with Trump and the conspiracy-theorist lawyer Sidney Powell to plot contesting the result last December, The Washington Post reported.
  • Byrne has previously described the 2020 election as "rigged" and stated his intention to fund "cybersleuths" by the end of November.
  • America's Future, which was listed as having contributed $976,000, lists former National Security Advisor and prominent Trump supporter Michael Flynn as its chair, the Associated Press reported.
  • Voices and Votes, listed as contributing $605,000, is led by Christina Bobb and Chanel Rion, correspondents for hard-right news network OANN where they have issued calls for donations, the AP reported.
  • Powell - whose multiple attempts at litigating the election have failed - is also behind a major donor, according to the AP. She fronts Defending the Republic, which Cyber Ninjas said donated $550,000.
  • LDFFTAR/EIFFTAR - known as "The Legal Defense Fund for the American Republic" - is a Palm Beach-registered nonprofit which is listed as contributing $280,000, according to Fifeld. Its website states it is raising money for audits in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The Maricopa County audit has faced intense criticism, such as an expert review by the States United Democracy Center in June which found the effort to have "fatal flaws" in process and conception.

Despite support for the effort from the Arizona Senate, several Republicans have slammed it. Stephen Richer, Maricopa County's Republican election recorder, called it "borderline dystopian."

Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, has previously endorsed pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the election, and most recently agreed to be in a documentary that made false claims of election fraud.

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