Karen Fann served as president of the Arizona State Senate from January 2019–January 2023. She is a lifelong Republican and American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member who served Legislative District 1 since 2011, first as a representative, then as a senator. In 2022, she was ALEC’s national chairwoman and was on its board of directors.
Following the 2020 presidential election, Fann spearheaded a partisan “audit” of the results in Maricopa County, Arizona. She hired an untested pro-Trump firm, Cyber Ninjas, to conduct the review, which was widely panned for its questionable techniques and total lack of impartiality. In 2021, Fann announced that she would not seek reelection in 2022.
January 6, 2021
- In June 2022, the FBI subpoenaed Fann as part of a federal investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The Big Lie
- An open records request from watchdog group American Oversight revealed that the Arizona Elections Council had sent Fann a memo explaining that the state legislature could not retroactively nullify the results of an election. According to emails obtained by American Oversight, Fann coordinated efforts with One America News (OAN) during the audit. The network peddled lies about the outcome of the election for over a year after President Biden was elected and was eventually dropped by the DirecTV satellite provider for doing so.
- In late January 2021, Fann led the Arizona Senate in a push to conduct an audit of the 2020 election.
- In February 2021, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors pushed back against a request from the state Senate to have access to two million ballots that had been cast in November 2020.
- In March 2021, Fann and the Arizona Senate contracted Cyber Ninjas—a firm owned by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist—to conduct the audit of the election in Maricopa County.
- Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan retweeted a post that read, “I’m tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” and another that read, “With all due respect, if you can’t see the blatant cheating, malfeasance and outright voter fraud, then you are ignorant or lying.”
- In an interview with the Arizona-based Capitol Media Services, Fann denied that the Cyber Ninjas firm was connected to a conspiracy theorist who rejected the 2020 election results. “I know that’s what the media’s going to try and spin,” she said. “But you can’t tell me they’ve been involved in conspiracy theories.”
- When the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors was subpoenaed by the Arizona Senate for elections-related routers, the Board refused to comply, citing security concerns. In response, every Republican in the state Senate voted ‘yes’ on a resolution to hold the county supervisors in contempt of court and order their arrests.
- In emails obtained by American Oversight, Fann told constituents that she had multiple conversations with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani about the audit. “I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy Giuliani over the past weeks trying to get this done,” she wrote in an email dated Dec. 28, 2020.
- In emails with constituents she also claimed to have had “a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.”