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About That (Fake) "Real" Cyber Ninja's Audit Report
The timelines have branched. Welcome to the auditverse.
If you paid any attention to “Audit Telegram” or The Gateway Pundit over the weekend, you may have come across a file purporting to be the “original” version of the Arizona Audit report. Legend has it that this version of the report was altered after Arizona Senate attorney Kory Langhofer interfered - though some versions of the story state Doug Logan was forced to water it down after his family was threatened.
Since we’re talking about 3 different versions of the same document, let’s get some terms straight before continuing:
The tone and conclusion of the fake report differ significantly from both the final report and the leaked draft. While the final report acknowledges the hand recount closely matched the official election results, the fake report ignores that fact entirely and instead states, confusingly, that “the election should not be certified” (Arizona certified its election results in November 2020).
Where’d this thing even come from?
The PDF appears to have originally been posted by Ann Vandersteel to her Telegram channel at 11:53AM PST on September 24th.
Vandersteel is a Qanon promoter that may or may not have been a member of Trump’s 2020 reelection board. She also moderated the Q&A panel at the premier of Patrick Byrne’s film “The Deep Rig”, which featured audit leader Doug Logan.
The file was posted to at least 9 other channels within an hour, reaching a combined total of over 266,000 users1. Several pro-audit influencers have also shared the file on their Telegram channels, including David Clements, Joe Oltmann, Patrick Byrne, and Matt DePerno. The Gateway Pundit has written several articles discussing the fake report, and Patrick Byrne is currently hosting a copy on the site for The America Project - his nonprofit organization that donated at least $3.2 million dollars to the audit.
How do you know it’s fake?
Note: All files referenced are linked towards the beginning of this post
Well, for one, Randy Pullen - the official spokesman for the Arizona Audit - told a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times “This is a fake document”. But if that’s not enough, we can find a few clues in the document itself.
First, the fake report reads like audit fan fiction. There’s nothing the pro-audit crowd wanted more than to see Arizona’s election results decertified (regardless of whether that’s technically possible), and the fake report not only says the results should not be certified, but it says it in bold text. The leaked draft was also widely shared in its original .docx format, meaning it would be trivial for anyone with access to Google Docs to edit the document. The leaked draft had also been circulating since mid-day on 9/23, so a motivated individual would have plenty of time to rewrite history.
That’s all relatively circumstantial though, so let’s take a closer look at the edits in the fake report.
We’ll start with one of the “major issues identified”: that “there were more than 10,000 double votes across county lines”.
The red flag is the “more than 10,000” figure, which was present only in the leaked draft. The final report revised that figure by nearly half, from 10,342 to 5,295.
If the fake report is in fact the original version of the “final” report, the numbers should presumably match the actual final report, and not the leaked draft.
The same thing happens with the “Votes Counted in Excess of Voters Who Voted” finding. The figure in the final report is 1,551, while the figure in both the leaked draft and the fake report is 836.
There’s also the fact that in the final report, the Findings Summary table has been removed from the Executive Summary entirely, and relocated to Volume III, the Results Summary. The Findings Summary table in the final report also include a column with the finding header numbers.
In the Fake Report, the Findings Summary remains in the Executive Summary, and does not have the header numbers. This also matches the leaked draft.
Note: these are both truncated compared to the tables that appear in the respective reports. This is due to the tables breaking onto new pages differently in each version.
These may seem like nitpicks, but let’s reconsider the context: the fake report is supposedly the “original” version of the final report. If that’s the case, why would the fake report more closely resemble the leaked draft than the final report? And it’s not just the formatting, but the data as well.
I considered the possibility that the fake report was an earlier draft rather than a “final” report, but ruled that out after seeing Patrick Byrne reiterate that the fake report was submitted on 9/24. Because of Byrne’s close association with the audit, I’m treating him as an authoritative source (but yes, I know better).
Ok, but why would someone create a fake report?
Why else? Money and attention.
With the audit over and the final report failing to deliver on the promises that were made by the pro-audit influencers, I think they had to do something to stay relevant. Sure, there are audits getting started elsewhere in the country, but this was the audit.
I mean, if you can’t produce a favorable report after selecting a biased auditor, sourcing volunteers primarily from groups associated with conservative causes, and funding it with millions of dollars raised by partisan dark money groups, is it worth conducting another audit at all?
Understanding the stakes, they turned to the strategy that’s allowed them to raise money and tour the country like weird rockstars since November 2020: inventing conspiracies.
Who can blame them, really? It was too easy. All the ingredients were mixed, they just had to throw the pan in the oven. So with a few new paragraphs and a freshly baked PDF, they split reality into a new timeline, one where the audit almost resulted in the decertification of Arizona’s election results…if only it weren’t for the pesky RINOs and their deep state comrades.
Based off subscriber counts of the channels as of 9/27