The editor of a major Arizona newspaper claims the state's ongoing election audit in Maricopa County has been "bought and sold" and is in the hands of "conspiracy theorists," incendiary remarks from a supposedly neutral journalist overseeing coverage of the event.
Greg Burton, the executive editor of the Arizona Republic, made the comments following reports that journalists were being denied access to cover the audit in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
“It’s clear this audit has been bought and sold by hyper partisans intent on sowing doubt," Burton said in a Republic report on the alleged media blackout. "Senate leaders have throttled legitimate press access and handed Arizona’s votes to conspiracy theorists.”
Burton did not respond to a request for comment Saturday evening.
His biography on the Arizona Republic's website also lists him as "a regional editor for USA TODAY in the West, leading newsrooms in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Utah, California and Arizona."
The audit is being carried out by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based digital security company.
Republicans in the Arizona state Senate have fought for several months to conduct the audit; a judge earlier this year ordered Maricopa officials to comply with the Senate request and turn over a significant number of files including over 2 million ballots from the 2020 election.