MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ – According to reports, a judge recused himself Sunday from a Democrat-filed lawsuit challenging Arizona Senate Republicans’ presidential election audit fewer than 24 hours before a hearing was set to begin Monday morning.
Maricopa County Superior Court Christopher Coury, who is a Republican appointee, pointed out that the judicial code of conduct is compelling him to remove himself from the case due to the fact that an attorney for the law firm engaged by the Senate Republicans’ lead auditor had previously served as an extern in his office within the past five years.
As a result of Coury’s recusal, a new judge will be appointed to oversee the case; in the meantime, it is not yet clear if Monday morning’s hearing will proceed or not.
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The Arizona Democratic Party had originally filed their lawsuit on Thursday in an attempt to put a halt to the election audit, taking place months after the conclusion of the November 2020 elections and spearheaded by State Senate Republicans who had originally attempted to overturn the victory of presidential candidate Joe Biden in the state; Biden would then go on to defeat incumbent Donald Trump, becoming the 46th President of the United States.
Trump, after losing, insisted that it was only due to widespread voter fraud – a claim that has not been proven in court – a sentiment that Arizona Republicans would repeat as reasoning for their audit, saying that they are attempting to restore public faith in the election process.
Arizona Democrats had previously asked Judge Coury to issue a restraining order to temporarily halt the audit, citing security concerns; Coury denied the request, but did order Cyber Ninjas – the company hired by Republicans to lead the audit – to provide documentation to the court to ensure the company is following state and federal election laws.
The audit, which represents a hand recount of the 2.1 million votes cast by Arizona residents in 2020, is currently taking place at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. According to audit documents, the recount is costing taxpayers approximately $150,000.