Arizona GOP nominee for secretary of state Mark Finchem mentioned Thursday night time that he is been interviewed as a witness by the Justice Department and the House choose committee investigating the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021.
His disclosure got here throughout a televised debate in opposition to Democratic opponent Adrian Fontes of their race to be the state’s high election official.
On Jan. 6, he was in Washington, D.C., and participated within the Stop the Steal march to the U.S. Capitol, however he mentioned Thursday that he was not interviewed as a suspect.
“The final time I checked, to be at a spot when one thing’s taking place will not be unlawful,” Finchem mentioned. “I’ve been handled as a witness not as a suspect.”
After the talk, in response to the Associated Press, Finchem mentioned of his interplay with the Justice Department, “It was an extended listing of questions and fairly frankly I do not keep in mind all of them.” He instructed reporters that he was requested why he was on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and was interviewed “a pair of months in the past.
Finchem nonetheless claims the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and prompt in response to a query by the moderator that if he had been secretary of state, he wouldn’t have licensed the outcomes displaying that President Joe Biden gained Arizona. There had been “too many hypotheticals” for him to think about the outcomes, he replied.
Finchem asserted that the 2020 election in Arizona was “compromised” in a number of counties and highlighted Yuma County and Maricopa County, however supplied no proof in help of his statements.
Fontes, who was the Maricopa County recorder, mentioned Finchem’s “lies” about the 2020 election are “harmful.”
“When we now have conspiracy theories and lies like those Mr. Finchem has simply shared — based mostly in no actual proof — what we find yourself doing is eroding the religion that we now have in one another as residents,” Fontes mentioned.
Finchem mentioned poll harvesting and the “2,000 Mules” conspiracy documentary confirmed that there had been fraud within the 2020 election. The Washington Post mentioned of the documentary by Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing commentator, that D’Souza “is elevating shaky, misrepresented, incomplete claims to bolster his rhetoric,” and the movie comprises “irredeemable flaws.”
Asked if the outcomes of the 2022 major elections in Arizona had been reliable, Finchem mentioned “I don’t know. It is what it’s,” Finchem mentioned, including that he hasn’t been in a position to dig into how the ballots had been processed.
Finchem additionally mentioned he opposes early voting and voting by mail, including that voters ought to go to the polls, though he did say he would help some absentee voting.
Editor’s notice: An earlier model of this text recognized Adrian Fontes because the Maricopa County recorder. He is a former Maricopa County recorder.