- A fake version of the Cyber Ninjas Arizona audit report is circulating in QAnon Telegram groups.
- The report falsely claims Trump won the election and declares the “reported results are not reliable.”
- The document was debunked by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, who said the report was “absolutely false.”
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Earlier this month, an audit report from Cyber Ninjas – the group behind Arizona’s election audit – validated President Joe Biden’s victory in Maricopa County, Arizona. Now, a fake version of that report, which contains the baseless claim that Trump won the 2020 election in Arizona, is making the rounds in QAnon Telegram groups.
According to Vice, the fake audit document was first posted by Ann Vandersteel, a QAnon influencer who runs a Telegram channel with more than 30,000 followers. Vandersteel shared the fake audit document, called “Executive Summary,” on her QAnon telegram channel on September 25. She also posted a comment about Doug Logan, the CEO of the Cyber Ninjas and a Trump supporter.
“THIS IS the REAL MARICOPA AUDIT. THEY THREATENED DOUG LOGAN and his family if he put it out. SHARE EVERYWHERE,” Vandersteel wrote. She did not specify who she meant by “they” or what alleged threats were leveled at Logan.
The false document has since been further circulated in Telegram groups linked to QAnon, a baseless far-right conspiracy group that claims former President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a “deep state” cabal of satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
“There is a false version of the Executive Summary of the Maricopa County Forensic Election Audit report that is circulating,” Logan said in a statement to Vice on September 29. “This false version claims to be an earlier version of the Cyber Ninjas Executive Summary, but because of supposed threats from the (Arizona State) Senate, it was not used. This is absolutely false.”
The GOP-led audit of the vote count in Maricopa County confirmed President Joe Biden won the election and resulted in Trump losing 261 votes. However, the former president has continued to falsely claim the GOP audit uncovered “undeniable evidence” of fraud.
At press time, the fake document circulated by Vandersteel had been downloaded over 130,000 times.
The origins of the fake report are unclear
The fake audit document mimics the overall structure of the Cyber Ninjas’ report, which can be downloaded on the Arizona State Senate’s website. Among the discrepancies in the fake audit report is a line of text that says, “The election should not be certified, and the reported results are not reliable.”
Logan told local outlet AZ Central he has no knowledge of the false draft report’s origins. He said it could have been created by “someone who was contributing to the report at some point in time.”
“The fact some language is shared means they likely reviewed the Executive Summary I wrote,” Logan told AZ Central. “No copy of the Executive Summary written by me ever directly stated the election should not be certified or should be de-certified.”
“I personally don’t think it’s my role to make that call or even that suggestion. That is something that should be determined by the legislature. My job was to relay the facts found during the audit and to provide advice on legislative reform,” Logan added in his interview with AZ Central.
Vandersteel and Logan did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.