The 24-year old jewelry designer, whose rings have been spotted on Serena Williams and Meghan Markle, uses half her profits to fund female entrepreneurs

Shilpa Yarlagadda looks at the camera wearing a white coat
Shilpa Yarlagadda

This article was originally published on November 4th, 2020. On September 14th, 2021 Meghan Markle wore Shiffon jewelry on the cover of Times’ 100 Most Influential List. This article has been updated to reflect that.

When Shilpa Yarlagadda was in between her freshman and sophomore years at Harvard, she had an idea.

At the time, she was a computer science major with no experience in jewelry. She did, however, have the desire to make a change. In Indian culture, jewelry holds great sentimental value and is something that is typically passed down for generations, said Yarlagadda. And as a Silicon Valley native, Yarlagadda grew up close to one of the US’ venture capital hotspots. Her idea was a jewelry business that would also “give women access to venture capital and opportunities beyond the capital,” she told Insider in a 2020 interview.

She took $5,000 in savings and $20,000 she won from a grant in high school to launch fine jewelry company Shiffon in 2017. Half of Shiffon’s profits are given to the company’s nonprofit organization, the Startup Girl Foundation, which focuses on funding female-owned businesses.

The Startup Girl Foundation takes equity in each company it invests in and all returns go back to the foundation so it can invest in more businesses. “Twenty-five thousand sounded like a lot of money, but now growing and seeing what other founders are able to do, I’m realizing it actually wasn’t,” she said. “We had to be really resourceful in what we did.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the cover of Times' 100 most influential. On her left pink ring,  Markle wears a white suit while Harry is dressed in all Black.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the cover of Times’ 100 most influential. On her left finger, Markle wears a Shiffon pinky ring.

Now 24 years old, Yarlagadda’s business is thriving – along with the companies she invested in – and her jewelry has been spotted on Emma Watson, Kate Moss, Serena Williams, Amanda Gorman, and Shailene Woodley. Recently, Meghan Markle wore a Shiffon ring on the cover of Times’ 2021 100 ‘most influential’ people issue, which she shared with husband Prince Harry.

Last November, Shiffon partnered with When We All Vote – co-chaired by Michelle Obama – to create a line of jewelry encouraging people to vote.

“In the boardrooms, women are still not given a fair and equal say,” Yarlagadda said. “We wanted to inspire and remind women how hard they work to get these rights and that their voice matters.”

Shiffon rings have a symbolic meaning

Shiffon’s most famous product is the Pinky Ring, a version of which the Duchess of Sussex sported on her Times cover.

It’s a pinky ring to represent the pinky promise that women will pay it forward to other women and is adjustable so it can fit everyone, Yarlagadda said.

Priced between $155 and $780, the ring’s spiral designs represent how the company aims to help women spiral upward. Those who buy the rings unlock a secret menu that gives them access to more Shiffon products.

This year the company also expanded into creating hoop earrings in which 19.65% of profits will be invested back into female businesses through the Startup Girl Foundation. The year 1965 was the year the Voting Rights Act passed, which protected voting rights for all women – especially those of color.

Shiffon

To date, profits from Shiffon have gone to support 11 startups, including the bra company Pepper and the espadrille brand Sea Star Beachwear, Yarlagadda said. This kind of investment is sorely needed: Last year, just 2.3% of VC funding went to startups led by women, down from 2.8% the year prior. That number is even more dismal for women of color.

“If we can create exponential growth and a chain reaction, it’s going to help us reach equality in the venture capital and business ecosystem sooner,” Yarlagadda said.

Shilpa Yarlagadda stands against a wall wearing a Harvard sweater
Shilpa Yarlagadda

Providing mentorship opportunities is also key for female entrepreneurs

Shiffon has a mentorship board including stylist Sarah Slutsky, Obama’s stylist Meredith Koop, photographers Inez & Vinoodh, and former Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers, who also advise the founders that Startup Girl Foundation invests in.

Mentorship has played a big part in Yarlagadda’s career, and it’s almost as important for young entrepreneurs to receive mentorship as it is to receive capital, she said.

“Having key advice from people who’ve been there before and people that you look up to can just really make a huge difference,” Yarlagadda added.

Her own mentorship journey began in the early days of her business when she started contacting people she looked up to, including Slutsky, who is best known for working with celebrities like Emma Watson and Tory Burch.

A post shared by SHIFFON (@shiffonco)

It was Slutsky who, in addition to providing mentorship, taught Yarlagadda about the Kimberley Process – a certification scheme that requires participants to source conflict-free diamonds – and helped her find diamonds.

Yarlagadda has also been a mentor to the female founders who are part of her foundation, including Trisha Goyal, founder of tennis company Break The Love.

Founded in 2019, the company seeks to make tennis more accessible and has worked with Burch, sports equipment company Wilson, and received capital from Adidas’ venture fund. Goyal told Insider the foundation has given her resources on how to stand out in the male-dominated sports industry, and that Yarlagadda has reminded her that each small win is an important win for every person who comes after her.

“We jumped through so many hoops to get here and there are so many more hoops to come,” Yarlagadda said. “We’re going to have to continue advocating for women more, and I just like to remind women to use their voices, and that their voices matter.”

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Donald Trump reportedly hung up the phone on Lindsey Graham after the senator told him: ‘You fucked your presidency up.’

lindsey graham donald trump
Sen. Lindsey Graham has warned former President Donald Trump that attacking his rivals won’t help secure future election victories.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham reportedly told Donald Trump he had messed up his presidency after his 2020 defeat.
  • The GOP Senator believed Trump was vital to Republican efforts to regain control and wanted him to focus on the future.
  • A forthcoming book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa details the conversation and the final days of Trump’s presidency.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As the Republican party struggled to maintain control following former President Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had dubbed the “Trump Whisperer,” believed the party needed Trump and his dedicated base to regain political power, according to an excerpt from a forthcoming book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that was obtained by CNN.

But the longtime Trump ally reportedly hit a nerve with the wounded president after delivering a hard truth.

“You fucked your presidency up,” Graham said to Trump in a phone call, according to Woodward and Costa.

Trump responded to the diss by abruptly hanging up the phone, CNN reported, citing the book.

According to the outlet’s coverage of the book preview, the two men spoke again the next day, and Graham told Trump he didn’t blame him for hanging up. But the South Carolina Republican did urge the then-president to focus on the future, not the past, in order to maximize the GOP’s chance at reclaiming power.

During the follow-up conversation, Trump reportedly worried that he would “lose my base” if he changed his behavior. Graham responded by telling Trump to look toward 2024, saying it could be the “biggest comeback in American history,” according to CNN.

Woodward and Costa, who are both reporters for The Washington Post, described Graham as “an addiction counselor struggling to keep his patient from taking one more drink,” according to CNN.

Graham had previously told the president “we can’t do it without you, Mr. President,” during a round of gold in May, the outlet reported.

“I think he’s redeemable,” Graham said about Trump, according to Woodward and Costa. “I think he’s got magic and I think he’s got darkness.”

The insight into the Republican Party’s post-election infighting is just one of several juicy details promised to be divulged in Woodward and Costa’s “Peril,” which focuses on the final weeks of Trump’s presidency and is set to be released next week.

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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he is hiding a pro-Trump election official at a secret safe house to help her dodge a FBI investigation

Mike Lindell, Tina Peters
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told Vice News that Peters is now “holed up” in a safe house.

  • A Colorado county clerk is accused of assisting in leaking election data to a QAnon influencer.
  • Tina Peters is now under investigation by the FBI, according to reports.
  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told Vice News that Peters is now “holed up” in a safe house.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has said he is providing a safe house for a Colorado county clerk amid an FBI investigation into her role in an alleged plot to leak election data to a QAnon leader, according to Vice News.

The official at the center of the probe, Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, is accused of compromising voting machines and allowing someone to share sensitive data with QAnon figurehead, Ron Watkins, Insider previously reported.

Peters, a so-called “Trump Truther,” permitted surveillance cameras to be turned off for up to two months, it is alleged.

Read more: A pro-Trump county clerk is accused of helping to leak sensitive election data to one of QAnon’s leaders: reports

She is under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, and on Tuesday, the FBI said it was also looking into it. The FBI announced that it was working with Colorado’s District Attorney’s office “to determine if there was a potential federal criminal violation,” FBI Denver office spokeswoman Courtney Bernal told the Denver Post.

Two weeks ago, when Griswold issued an order authorizing her staff to travel to Mesa County to inspect the election system, Peters was on her way to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s “cyber symposium” in South Dakota, Vice News reported.

Lindell told Vice News on Wednesday that, following the symposium, a member of his own security team leaked the secret location she was staying in, the media outlet reported.

Peters is now “holed up” in a new safe house, Lindell said.

“She’s worried about her safety. These people are ruthless,” he told Vice News.

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Mike Lindell said his cyber symposium would prove voter fraud. One cyber expert said it was just full of ‘random garbage that wastes our time.’

mike lindell white house
Mike Lindell claimed he had 37 terabytes of information related to voter fraud that he was going to reveal.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s 72-hour “cyber symposium” failed to produce legitimate evidence of voter fraud, cyber experts who attended the event said.

Lindell said he would reveal new information proving that China helped Joe Biden to “steal” the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump at the event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Lindell claimed he had 37 terabytes of information related to voter fraud that he would reveal. He said he’d give $5 million to any cyber expert, politician, or reporter who could refute the data, provided they attend the event in person.

Read more: I asked MyPillow whether it sells customer data to political committees. Mike Lindell called back – and things got interesting.

Lindell’s claims were meritless, according to Rob Graham, a cyber expert who attended the symposium. “He gave us experts NOTHING today, except random garbage that wastes our time,” Graham tweeted Wednesday.

He added: “All day Mike Lindell has been on stage saying the cyber experts are happily working on packet captures. We are not. We haven’t been given the packet captures we were promised.”

Packet captures are intercepted network data obtained by other hackers. Lindell claimed the packet captures from the November 2020 election could be unencrypted to reveal evidence of voter fraud.

Harri Hursti, another attendee and election security expert, doubled down on criticism towards the event. He told The Washington Post that Lindell’s symposium was “a big fat nothing and a distraction,” adding that, “they have fed us with garbage just to control the narrative.”

Cyber expert Josh Merritt, who said he was hired by Lindell to study data for the event, told The Washington Times that the data his team had access to wasn’t enough to prove that China hacked the election.

On day two, the crowd “wasn’t having it” and mostly left as a result, tweeted Zachary Petrizzo, a Salon reporter who also attended.

A staunch ally of Trump, Lindell has been a superspreader of conspiracy theories about the election being “stolen,” despite no evidence of voter fraud.

This led to Lindell being sued by voting-machine company Dominion for $1.3 billion for saying it “switched” votes from Trump to Biden. Retailers have pulled MyPillow’s products, and Lindell said he’d received death threats.

The pundit’s relationship with conservative cable outlet, Fox News, similarly soured after the network refused to air advertisements promoting Lindell’s symposium.

Some of Trump’s most influential supporters attended the event. These included conspiracy theorists Ronald Watkins and Steve Bannon, as well as the son of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

While Bannon is pro-Trump, Salon reported that he, too, was skeptical about Lindell’s claims, stating that he needed to see additional evidence.

One expert in cyber security and technology told the outlet that even if Lindell’s data claims were correct, he could face legal charges. “You can’t just pull this kind of information from a remote, you have to have a physical device sitting there that is providing this information,” the expert said.

The expert said the only way Lindell could have accumulated the kind of data he claims about voter fraud is by inserting a physical device that can “watch information that is going in and out of a network,” which is wiretapping and a breach of federal law.

Lindell did not respond to the specific concerns raised by the expert, Salon reported.

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How Trump loyalist Jeffrey Clark was shut down by fellow DOJ officials for trying to intervene in the election

Jeff Clark, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, September 14, 2020.
Jeff Clark, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, September 14, 2020.

  • Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark tried to intervene in Georgia’s election results, according to reports.
  • Clark allegedly tried to urge Georgia to investigate irregularities, though the DOJ had found no evidence of widespread fraud.
  • Fellow DOJ officials turned down Clark, saying there was “no chance” they would get on board.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jeffrey Clark, originally an environmental lawyer at the Department of Justice, ended up at the center of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to use the agency to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

In a letter from December published by ABC this week, Clark had sought to use the power of the Justice Department to intervene in Georgia’s election. His colleagues at the Justice Department, which had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, ultimately refused.

Clark was nominated by Trump in 2017 to serve as the Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. But in September 2020, Trump made Clark the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s civil division.

After Trump lost the election to President Joe Biden and proceeded to spread unsubstantiated claims about fraud, Clark emerged as an ally in that endeavor, even after his own agency broke from the president.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 329 top staffers to show where they all landed

Attorney General Bill Barr, previously a staunch defender of Trump, said in early December 2020 that the Justice Department had found no evidence of fraud that would have impacted the results of the election. When Barr resigned in mid-December, Jeffrey Rosen took over as acting attorney general.

But The New York Times reported that Trump and Clark were quietly working together to try and oust Rosen in order to replace him with Clark, charges Clark denied. The Times reported the plan was for Clark to pressure Georgia officials on the state’s election results.

The letter Clark wrote in December that was released this week appears to show him doing exactly that.

On December 27, Trump had told Justice Department officials, including Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, to “just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me,” according to a memo written by Donoghue.

The very next day, Clark sent a draft letter to Rosen and Donoghue requesting it be sent to officials in Georgia to urge them to investigate, and potentially overturn, Biden’s win in the state.

“The Department of Justice is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for President of the United States,” the letter said. “The Department will update you as we are able on investigatory progress, but at this time we have identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.”

However, to date, the Justice Department has found no evidence of fraud that would impact the election outcome.

The letter also urged Georgia’s governor to “immediately call a special session to consider this important and urgent matter,” and said if the governor declined, the legislature itself could do it.

When Clark sent the draft letter to Rosen and Donoghue, he wrote in an email “I think we should get it out as soon as possible,” ABC reported.

Days later, Donoghue blatantly refused: “There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this.”

“While it maybe true that the Department ‘is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for President’ (something we typically would not state publicly) the investigations that I am aware of relate to suspicions of misconduct that are of such a small scale that they simply would not impact the outcome of the Presidential Election,” Donoghue wrote, according to ABC.

Rosen agreed, writing he was “not prepared to sign such a letter.”

Clark resigned from his position on January 14. In July, Clark was hired by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, which describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group that protects constitutional freedoms.

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Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani could face criminal investigation in Arizona over their attempts to overturn election

Giuliani Trump
Rudy Giuliani watches as Donald Trump speaks.

  • Donald Trump and his allies could face a criminal investigation in Arizona.
  • Arizona’s Secretary of State asked the state Attorney General to investigate Trump allies for violating election laws.
  • Arizona GOP Chair and Trump backer Kelli Ward told Maricopa officials “we need you to stop the counting” the votes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Donald Trump and key allies could be facing a criminal investigation in Arizona for launching a campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Last week Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wrote to the state’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich to urge him to launch a criminal investigation into Trump and his allies over the potential violations of state election laws.

Hobbs, a Democrat, made the request after reporting from The Arizona Republic revealed details of the high-pressure campaign launched by Trump and a number of his allies.

Hobbs wrote that Trump and individuals, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, and lawyer Sidney Powell, tried to influence Maricopa officials to stop the counting of ballots.

Hobbs cited comments made by Ward towards the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, including, “We need you to stop the counting” and “I know you don’t want to be remembered as the guy who led the charge to certify a fraudulent election.”

On Friday, Attorney General Brnovich’s office wrote to Hobbs asking for documents related to allegations of violations of election fraud, according to The Arizona Republic.

Brnovich, a Republican running for the Senate, said in the email that Hobbs had not submitted referrals for double voting.

The Arizona Republic said that the latest correspondence from Brnovich is the first public sign that he is examining records after the pressure campaign was revealed.

A spokeswoman for Hobbs told The Arizona Republic that the secretary of state was sending the required records to the Attorney General’s Office on Friday.

Donald Trump has long alleged that the results of the 2020 election were fraudulent, particularly in Arizona.

His claims have been widely debunked. An Associated Press investigation revealed that Arizona county election officials found only 182 possible voter fraud cases out of the three million ballots cast in the state in 2020.

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Arizona’s top elections official is calling for a probe of Trump and his allies over ‘intense efforts to interfere’ with ballot counting

rudy giuliani donald trump
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is seen with then-President-elect Donald Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey in November 2016.

  • Records obtained by The Arizona Republic showed Trump allies contacting Arizona election officials.
  • “We need you to stop the counting,” Kelli Ward, Arizona GOP chair, told an official during ballot counting.
  • Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is calling on Trump and his allies to be investigated over the reports.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is calling for an investigation into former President Donald Trump and his allies over “intense efforts to interfere” with the counting of ballots in the 2020 election.

In a letter to Arizona’s attorney general that was shared on Twitter, Hobbs urges him to look into reports that Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Kelli Ward tried to interfere with election officials, potentially in violation of state law. She said they contacted officials in Maricopa County, where a GOP-backed audit of the election was recently underway, to disrupt ballot counting.

“Local reporting recently uncovered intense efforts to interfere with the tabulation of ballots and canvass of the 2020 election in Maricopa County,” Hobbs said in a tweet. “In Arizona, interfering with election officials is a felony.”

Read more: A key fundraising group for Republican women is shunning Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, calling them ‘carnival barkers’

Citing The Arizona Republic’s reporting, the letter says Trump and his allies reached out to election officials during the ballot tabulation process “to induce supervisors to refuse to comply with their duties.”

Hobbs notes an incident in which Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, told the chairman of the board of supervisors, “We need you to stop the counting” and “I know you don’t want to be remembered as the guy who led the charge to certify a fraudulent election.”

The comments were made via text messages that were included in records obtained by The Arizona Republic.

Hobbs called for Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate these reports and enforce any laws that were violated.

“Arizona law protects election officials from those who would seek to interfere with their sacred duties to ascertain and certify the will of the voters,” she wrote. “I urge you to take action not only to seek justice in this instance, but to prevent future attempts to interfere with the integrity of our elections.”

Hobbs, a Democrat and vocal critic of the GOP recount in Maricopa County, announced last month she will run for governor in 2022.

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Trump called an Arizona GOP leader to persuade him to change election results. He sent the calls directly to voicemail.

trump
Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Trump directly called a GOP leader in Arizona twice while he was trying to overturn the election.
  • Clint Hickman, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors sent him to voicemail.
  • “I told people, ‘Please don’t have the president call me,'” he told The New York Times.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump called the GOP chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Clint Hickman, twice during the time he was trying to overturn the results of the election, The New York Times reported.

Hickman told the Times he had Trump’s calls go straight to voicemail.

“I told people, ‘Please don’t have the president call me,'” he said.

The calls were made in late December and early January, he told the Times. The first call came on New Year’s Eve with a voicemail from the White House switchboard noting that Trump wanted to speak with him. The next call came four days later and was also sent to voicemail.

Hickman said at that point he had already read a transcript of Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where Trump asked him to ‘find’ votes to overturn Biden’s statewide win, and the county was already in litigation over the election results.

“I had seen what occurred in Georgia and I was like, ‘I want no part of this madness and the only way I enter into this is I call the president back,'” Mr. Hickman said.

Read more: Michigan’s Democrats in Congress face an ethics complaint after hanging with Biden and voting from afar

For months following the election, Trump and his allies waged lawsuits all across the country to try and reverse President Joe Biden’s win.

In a close race, Biden won Arizona but Hickman said the state Republican Party chairwoman and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani were pressuring him to investigate fraud in his county’s election. Biden won in Maricopa county.

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Arizona Republic showed records of phone calls to Hickman from Trump and Giuliani.

Arizona’s State Senate called for an audit of all 2.1 million votes cast in the county, which is still underway.

Trump and his allies waged dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits trying to overturn the election and have repeatedly made false claims he would be reinstated.

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GOP state senators in Pennsylvania started lobbying for an election audit back in December: WaPo

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, center, speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa., after Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump to become 46th president of the United States.

  • GOP senators in Pennsylvania lobbied for 2020 election audits in December, The Washington Post reported.
  • At least one county accepted the offer and submitted to a recount done by Wake TSI, a company also involved in Arizona’s recount.
  • Trump has targeted Pennsylvania once again in recent days, calling on the GOP to conduct a full audit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

All eyes were on Pennsylvania following the 2020 presidential election. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, the battleground state witnessed a riveting post-election day percentage shift from Trump to Biden, several Trump-sponsored accusations of fraud, and a series of rejected legal attempts by the then-president and his allies to overturn the results.

But after two months of election pandemonium in the keystone state, a group of GOP senators staged a final attempt to undermine President Joe Biden’s win, according to The Washington Post.

In late December, Republican senators in the state legislature targeted officials in at least three conservative-leaning counties asking if they would agree to an unofficial, voluntary audit of their ballots, the outlet reported.

Though previously unreported, the lawmakers’ post-election efforts to sow doubt about the 2020 election results and curry favor with former President Donald Trump set a precedent for the expanding list of places across the country looking to conduct similar reviews of the election that refuses to die.

Trump loyalists are clamoring for opportunities to find evidence that could prove Trump’s relentless conspiracy theories. But experts and institutions have found no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The Post’s reporting on the Pennsylvania Republicans’ methods comes as the state’s GOP fields growing calls to greenlight an Arizona-style election audit of its own. Last week, a three-person delegation from Pennsylvania met with fellow Republicans and ballot counters in Maricopa County, where Biden beat Trump by more than 45,000 votes and where a GOP-backed audit has been ongoing since March.

Sen. Doug Mastriano, who developed a close relationship with Trump following the election, helped spearhead the county audit attempts in Pennsylvania last year and reportedly told Trump at a meeting last month that he could bring about an audit in his state moving forward. Mastriano was also one of the lawmakers who toured the Phoenix site last week and called for a similar recount after his visit.

Mastriano did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Of the three counties that Pennsylvania Republicans targeted last winter, Trump won all with ease. According to The Post, the lawmakers proposed to have a private company review the counties’ ballots for free – an unusual act not part of official election challenge processes.

Fulton County, a rural area on the border of Maryland, is the only county known to have accepted the senators’ offer, The Post reported. On December 31, Wake TSI, a company initially involved in the Arizona recount as well, recounted about 1,000 mail-in ballots and examined county voting machines, according to the outlet.

The company, which was contracted to a nonprofit run by ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, declared the election had been “well run” and conducted in “a diligent and effective manner” in a February draft report reviewed by The Post.

But the final version of the report that ended up on the county’s website was revised.

“This does not indicate that there were no issues with the election, just that they were not the fault of the County Election Commission or County Election Director,” it added to its assessment.

County officials did not respond to The Post’s questions about who made the last-minute revision.

As Trump continues to spread lies about the 2020 election, he has zeroed in on Pennsylvania once again, joining the crowd of those calling for a state audit.

“The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth,” Trump said in a statement. “If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn’t act, there is no way they will ever get re-elected!

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Arizona GOP legislators votes to strip powers from the Democratic secretary of state after she slammed the state’s GOP-led 2020 election audit

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In this Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, file photo, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs removes her face mask as she addresses the members of Arizona’s Electoral College prior to them casting their votes, in Phoenix.

  • Republicans in Arizona’s state legislature voted Tuesday to strip the Democratic Secretary of State of election powers.
  • The move comes one day after Katie Hobbs slammed the GOP-led 2020 election audit happening in Maricopa County.
  • The measure would transfer authority over elections lawsuits to the state’s Republican attorney general.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republicans in Arizona’s state legislature passed a measure on Tuesday to strip Democrat Katie Hobbs of her election powers as Secretary of State after she criticized the state’s controversial, GOP-led audit of the 2020 election.

The bill, which passed both the state House and Senate Appropriations Committees, would transfer election powers from Hobbs to Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who Hobbs filed a still-pending ethics complaint against last year, first reported by AZ Central.

In a comment to Insider, Hobbs said she filed the complaint against Brnovich because he engaged in a pattern of unethical and partisan behavior. She said she filed the complaint with the State Bar of Arizona in October in hopes that the issue would be resolved in a professional and nonpartisan manner.

“He frequently sought to substitute his judgement for my own and allowed his political preferences to interfere with his obligation to represent me as a client, in my pursuit of the best interests of Arizona voters,” Hobbs told Insider. “Unfortunately, it appears that AG Brnovich isn’t asking forgiveness for his behavior – he’s asking our legislature to authorize it,” Hobbs said.

A representative for Brnovich did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The legislative response to Hobbs’ ongoing audit criticism would give Brnovich authority to defend all elections lawsuits through early January 2023, which marks the end of both his and Hobbs’ current terms.

The measure, which still has to pass the full legislature, would also ban the attorney general from representing or providing legal counsel to the secretary of state, who is typically in charge of overseeing elections. The proposed changes will be included in the state’s full budget proposal which is set to be voted on later this week, according to local news station KNXV.

Hobbs responded to the proposal earlier this week, calling it an attack on Arizona voters.

“All year our legislature has worked to undermine our elections – from a wave of bills to make it harder to vote to the ridiculous ‘audit’ taking place at the Coliseum,” she said on Twitter. “It appears the next step is an attempt to undermine Arizona’s Chief Elections Officer and prevent me from doing the job Arizonans elected me to do.”

“The fact that the legislature has singled out me and my office for these unjustifiable restrictions – restrictions which expire at the end of my term – make it clear what this is really about: partisan politics,” she said.

Rep. Regina Cobb and Sen. David Gowan, respective chairs of the legislature’s Appropriations Committees, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The move comes amid the state’s ongoing audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County led by Arizona’s GOP-controlled Senate, more than six months after President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by about 45,000 votes in the county and by slightly more than 10,000 ballots in the state.

After Trump and his supporters spent months sowing doubt about Biden’s win in the once-Red state, state Republicans chose Cyber Ninjas, a private firm with no prior elections experience and spearheaded by a Trump supporter, to carry out another count of ballots in Maricopa County. The recount decision was made in spite of the county’s Republican-controlled board of supervisors objecting to it, saying the election had already been audited more than once by credible firms.

The audit, which kicked off on April 23, has been plagued by questions of legality and partisanship stemming from a slew of errors and absurdities. Earlier this month, the Maricopa County Attorney’s office sent state leaders and audit vendors a “hold” letter instructing them to retain all documents and audit communications – the first official sign that Maricopa County leaders are considering post-audit legal action.

Cyber Ninjas did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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