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An Arizona judge has ordered a temporary halt to the Maricopa County forensic audit, if Democrats pony up $1 million for any potential increase in costs.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christoper Coury has said that the forensic audit of all 2.1 million 2020 ballots from the Arizona county, which started on Friday, should be temporarily halted from Friday at 5 p.m. until 12 p.m. on Monday. Coury said that he would like to know the policies and procedures that are in place to confirm that the audit is legal and legitimate, following a lawsuit filed late Thursday by state Democrats.

“I do not want to micromanage and it is not the posture of this court to micromanage or even to manage the process by which another branch of government, the Legislature, the Arizona state senate proceeds,” Coury said. “However, it is the province of the court to ensure voter information and those constitutional protections are held sacrosanct and that also includes the protection of ballots under Arizona law.”

However, Court also confirmed that he would like the Democrats to put up $1 million in order to halt the audit, to fund any potential increase in costs that would come as a result of the temporary halt. At the time of writing, there had been no response from the Democrats as to whether they were willing to pony up the money, meaning it is unclear whether the halt will in fact take place or not. Kory Langhofer, a lawyer for the Arizona Senate, asked for any halt to be delayed, so that the Senate would have a chance to immediately appeal the decision by Judge Coury.

The lawsuit, filed by the Arizona Democratic Party and County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, argued that the private firm hired by Republican Senate President Karen Fann to carry out the audit, Cyber Ninjas, was not qualified to conduct the audit, and that they were ironically concerned about the integrity of the audit. They noted that the CEO of the company, Doug Logan, supported the “Stop the Steal” efforts, insinuating that he would not perform the audit properly. The lawsuit also noted that Lin Wood and others donated money to help support the audit process, and claimed the ballots could be tampered with.

The Arizona Senate had made sure that the entire forensic audit would be livestreamed online on an independent website, and on OANN, and that anyone of any partisan or non-partisan affiliation could sign up to act as an observer. The lawsuit insinuated that because 70% of those who had signed up were Republicans, the process would not be monitored properly, despite the audit process not discriminating against anyone who wanted to help facilitate it.

“Democrats [are] doing everything to stop [the] audit, including filing lawsuits attacking the ‘integrity’ of the process,” said the Arizona GOP in a tweet. “So NOW they care about election integrity? Nope. They just don’t want Americans to be involved in our own elections,” they added.

The lawsuit and action from the judge follows the Maricopa audit team being kicked from using Gmail, something Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers said was proof that Google is a “sham of a company.” No information was available as to why the team, led by Ken Bennett, a former Arizona Secretary of State, was removed from the Gmail – the team shifted over to using the encrypted Protonmail service instead.

President Trump in a statement said that the lawsuit was evidence that the Democrats “are desperate for the fraud to remain concealed from the American people. “Our country needs the truth of the scam 2020 Election to be exposed,” Trump said. “If it is not, just as if we have “no borders,” we cannot be a Great Nation. Honest elections are America’s Heart and Soul. We must never allow this to happen to our Great Country again.”

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