With the Alaska Legislature is still in session, Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman was down in Arizona where he was spotted today taking a tour of the Arizona Senate GOP’s deeply problematic “audit” of the 2020 election.
Eastman, an extreme-right Republican who’s time in office has produced many eyebrow-raising headlines, was one of seven Alaska Republican legislators and legislators-elect to sign onto a lawsuit attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election and later went to Washington D.C., on Jan. 6 (though he claims he did not enter the U.S. Capitol Building).
The photos and a video posted by KTAR Radio reporter Griselda Zetino show Eastman and two Georgia legislators touring the stadium where the “audit,” which is being conducted by a Florida-based group called Cyber Ninjas whose founder has supported a whole host of election-related conspiracy theories. The images show an empty stadium with a floor partitioned with chain-link fences, color-coded tables and boxes that presumably contain tens of thousands of ballots that are being investigated for, among other things, bamboo fibers.
Eastman’s trip appears to be part of a growing trend of Big Lie-supporting Republicans making the pilgrimage to an “audit” that has become largely a laughing stock to anyone outside of the rabidly pro-Trump media world. Professional auditors who’ve weighed in on the process have likened it more to a “grift,” “clown show” or “fraudit” that doesn’t abide by the typical and legitimate efforts to review elections. Others have more politely called it a “partisan recount.” However regardless of its laughable nature or results, the idea has caught on as some of these far-right Republicans have sought to begin replicating the actions in their own home states.
Alaska, under the direction of Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, conducted an audit of the results of Ballot Measure 2, an election reform measure aimed at implementing ranked-choice voting in general elections, after the 2020 elections. It found no evidence of fraud.
Eastman has been a supporter of the efforts to overturn the official results of the 2020 election. He and six other Republican legislators signed onto an amicus brief backing the Texas lawsuit that sought to overturn the results in a handful of key states and later attended the election protests outside the U.S. Capitol. After the protests devolved into an attempted insurrection that resulted in several deaths, Eastman said he never entered the capitol building and would later suggested Antifa was actually behind the attacks and defended Trump.
“If you think that the members of Antifa, or any other groups who were assaulting police officers at the Capitol today, were doing so because of something said by the president, then you know neither Antifa nor the president,” he wrote in a blog post. “I was present at the March to Save America today and heard everything in the president’s speech. There was no call to violence or lawlessness of any kind, and for the vast majority of those around the Capitol Building today, we were unable to see that violence of any kind had taken place.”
Before the day devolved into violence, however, Eastman told KTUU that there’s time where extreme action is warranted: “There are times when push comes to shove and now seems to be one of those times. So, all the more important that you recognize that simply rolling-over is not going to do anything good for Alaska or for our country.”