True the Vote Responds to Arizona AG’s Office Requesting FBI Investigation

The election integrity organization True the Vote issued a response over the weekend after the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) sent a letter to the FBI on October 14 complaining about the group and suggesting the FBI investigate it for “potential violations of the Internal Revenue Code.”

The May documentary 2000 Mules, which was produced by Dinesh D’Souza in conjunction with True the Vote (TTV), exposed alleged ballot harvesting in several battleground states – including Arizona – but True the Vote has experienced a strained relationship with the Arizona AGO in the follow-up investigation. The election integrity group asserts that the data gathered in its investigation and showcased in the film was available to any law enforcement agency that subpoenaed it, but a special agent for the AGO’s Special Investigations Section claims that the organization never turned over a promised hard drive of evidence.

“As was stated in their March 2022 complaint [to the AGO], the data used by True the Vote is available to any law enforcement agency which issues a lawful subpoena for the data,” TTV said in its statement; adding:

Here is a photo of a copy of the hard drive with Gregg Phillips, of OPSEC Group, the group contracted to oversee the geospatial research for True the Vote. This availability is not new… True the Vote has offered it repeatedly in direct conversation with law enforcement agencies. But True the Vote offers it to law enforcement publicly today.

Gregg Phillips / True the Vote

True the Vote has documentary records of correspondence with the State of Arizona and the FBI, detailing the evidence and its limitations. Had the Arizona AG’s office been serious in their investigation of True the Vote’s information, they would have had no need to send a letter to the FBI and simultaneously transform it into a press release to cover up their own failings. Just as in the Konnech matter, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The “Konnech matter” refers to a dispute involving True the Vote and Konnech, Inc., an election logistics company. Konnech sued True the Vote for defamation after the group said it had ties to China. Konnech CEO Eugene Yu was ultimately arrested for storing election data on Chinese servers, which True the Vote said vindicated the group.

At least one government agency, the Georgia State Elections Board, has followed up with True the Vote and subpoenaed its data. The data collected by True the Vote from several battleground states allegedly contain cellphone geolocation data which reveal the same cellphones circling back and forth from the offices of Democratic nonprofit organizations to absentee ballot drop boxes.

The letter the Arizona AGO sent to the FBI, which was signed by AGO Chief Special Agent Reginald “Reggie” Grigsby, said it is “patently false” that True the Vote turned over a hard drive of data to the AGO. But the group contradicted Grigsby’s claim in statements to the Arizona Senate and the Phoenix office of the FBI.

Grigsby said the group “acknowledged via correspondence and during a meeting with them that they had not given us the information but that they would.” He said True the Vote said on June 1 that they’d given the data to the FBI and were working with the FBI as informants, so they weren’t sure if they could hand the data over to the AGO.

True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht told The Arizona Sun Times the group turned over a hard drive with the data – similar to the one Phillips is holding in the photo above – at around the time of their first meeting with the AGO on June 3, 2021, months before coming up with the idea to make a documentary film that would eventually become 2,000 Mules. After that, they heard nothing from the AGO about any follow-up investigation until roughly 10 months later in the Spring of 2022.

When the AGO followed up and said they didn’t have the data, Engelbrecht said she suggested they subpoena it on the advice of their attorneys, since it would bypass them from being as directly attached and potentially avoid extra lawsuits. When the FBI got involved, Engelbrecht said she suggested using the Bureau as a central repository for the data, since they have geolocation specialists.

Engelbrecht told The Sun Times she didn’t understand why the AGO would accuse the group of not turning over the data. “Why would we meet with them four times and testify to the Arizona Legislature about it?”

Grigsby said the AGO met with the Phoenix office of the FBI on June 8, and was informed that True the Vote was not acting as an informant, and that the group had provided the FBI with “an audio recording and video of an interview of a person from San Luis who was alleging ballot harvesting.”

Next, Grigsby said that True the Vote incorrectly claimed that its data from collecting cellphone GPS locations helped the Atlanta Police Department arrest a suspect as well as the AGO with its ballot-harvesting investigation in San Luis.

He said the Atlanta Police Department caught the suspect two weeks before True the Vote offered its data, and that the group “has not provided us any information/evidence of election fraud in Arizona that has led to us initiating an investigation.”

The AGO’s investigation into ballot harvesting in San Luis ultimately led to the conviction and sentencing of two Democratic operatives. Although the investigation only fully confirmed that four ballots were returned illegally, investigators say they believe the effort went much further.

Investigator William Kluth wrote in a report that there was evidence that Guillermina Fuentes, the former Democratic mayor of San Luis who received two years of probation and 30 days in jail, actively canvassed San Luis neighborhoods collecting ballots, even paying for them. Juan Guerrero, a local justice of the peace, told investigators that “issues” like this had occurred in the town for years, and “influential people” like Fuentes, known as the “Chispas,” exchanged ballots for money.

Finally, Grigsby said in his letter that since the group, a nonprofit, “has raised considerable sums of money alleging they had evidence of widespread voter fraud,” but has not turned information over to law enforcement, “it would appear that further review of their financials may be warranted.”

The reaction to the letter brought swift condemnation. Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, tweeted on Friday blaming Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “I reject Brno’s assessment of this situation,” he said. “True the Vote turned this sh** over to him over a year ago. He denied he had it. Now he is playing this game? He is a Rusty-Bowers #DeepState plant here to disrupt the political process and should be disbarred!” He added, “Brno backstabbed True the Vote.”

Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who produced the movie 2000 Mules along with True the Vote, tweeted, “True the Vote responds to the Brnovich letter, evidently written by some low-level scam artist in the fat guy’s office. They’re all upset over there that their guy proved to be such a dud and a loser.”

True the Vote responded on Truth Social, linking to The Arizona Sun Times’ previous coverage of the hard drive dispute in September. Signed “CE” for founder Catherine Engelbrecht, the group reiterated that it turned over “everything” to the AGO and FBI, and “stopped working with the AZ AG when they doxxed whistleblowers.” The post concluded, “News flash ‘Reggie,’ you are being used. We have bigger fish frying. Maybe you didn’t know. And great idea to post your super serious letter on Twitter. Our lawyers ❤️ it. Esp with all the inaccuracies. See you soon.”

The AGO conducted a lengthy investigation of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election in response to an audit ordered by the Arizona Senate, and found significant problems in the first interim report, including 100,000 to 200,000 ballots lacking chain of custody and “problematic system-wide issues that relate to early ballot handling and verification” in Maricopa County.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Brnovich” by Mark Brnovich. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY 2.0.


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