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Kari Lake Responds to Judge Who Sanctioned Her Legal Team in Lawsuit

The campaign of Arizona Republican candidate Kari Lake has responded to a district court fining her attorneys after they filed an election-related lawsuit earlier this year.

Judge John Tuchi of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, who dismissed a Lake lawsuit earlier this year, moved on Dec. 3 to fine lawyers for Lake and Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem.

“To impose sanctions in this case is not to ignore the importance of establishing procedures to ensure that our elections are safe and reliable,” Tuchi wrote in his order. “This is to make clear that the court will not condone litigants who ignore the steps Arizona has already taken toward this goal and promote false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing misinformation about, and mistrust of, in, the democratic process. This is to send a message to those who may file similar baseless cases in the future.”

But in response, Lake’s team challenged Tuchi’s order, accusing him of being a politically motivated actor. A Lake campaign statement noted that Tuchi was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

“This case is not about money or profit,” Lake’s campaign spokesman Ross Trumble said in a statement to the news outlets. “This was essentially a public interest litigation seeking electoral integrity. It is very very rare to sanction a party in public interest litigation. All in all, this reads like an angry Obama appointee looking to send a message. The message is if you keep quiet and lose and don’t come to court. The message is not that you lost a case or acted in bad faith.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Lake’s campaign and Finchem’s campaign for comment.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz was one of the lawyers in the suit brought by Lake and Finchem. Dershowitz told Law & Crime last week that he joined the lawsuit to support election transparency.

“I have not contested the results of any elections in Arizona. I provided legal advice on the future use of machine counting by companies that refuse to disclose the inner workings of their machines. I support transparency in elections,” he said.

Appearing on Steve Bannon’s WarRoom podcast on Dec. 3, Lake said she would “continue to fight for the people of Arizona” despite the sanctions imposed by the judge.

“It’s not about me. I’ve said it all along, I’m just one voter, but I care deeply about Arizona. It’s not fun to be in the middle of this,” Lake said. “But we have no other choice. I have no choice but to stand up and fight now for the people of Arizona. If I don’t, who will?”

More legal activities

A Maricopa County official said a separate lawsuit by Lake should be thrown out as the state is likely to move to certify the results of the Nov. 8 election in favor of Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Earlier this month, Lake filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County to request election records so she can challenge the results of the election. At the same time, Lake claimed that Republican voters were disenfranchised by election day issues across Maricopa County.

Deputy District Attorney Joseph Branco told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney in a Dec. 3 hearing that Lake is entitled to the county records, according to local media reports.

Epoch Times photo
The Arizona Maricopa County Board of Supervisors met on November 28 to review the results of the November election before voting to certify on November 28, 2022. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

However, Branco claimed that the GOP candidate is “jumping to the front of the line” while asserting that “to put this (demand) on an expedited schedule, I think would set a terrible precedent.” He added: “Country agencies receive requests from prisoners who believe that the records they will receive will lead to their freedom.”

“If the court were to order some kind of relief today … there is nothing under Arizona law that provides for the immediate production or would immediately produce and make available those records,” Branco told Blaney.

Election data shows that Lake currently trails Secretary of State Hobbs by about 17,000 votes. All of Arizona’s counties, including Cochise County, voted last week to certify their respective election results. Hobbs will certify it nationwide on Monday, December 5.

An attorney for Lake, Tim La Sota, told the judge during the hearing that Lake’s team needed the records quickly because of the pending certification deadline.

“This information loses not all of its value, but a lot of its value in an election context pretty quickly,” he noted, according to Tuscon.com. At the same time, La Sota claimed that Maricopa County’s inability or unwillingness to provide records within days of Lake’s request violated the law.

Late last month, Lake said she needed Maricopa County records so she could file a larger lawsuit. It came days after an Arizona attorney general’s office official sent a letter to Maricopa officials demanding they hand over information after voters during the Nov. 8 election at the attorney general’s office complained.

“In this case, ‘immediately’ must mean sufficiently prior to the recruitment to allow plaintiff and the court to quickly determine the full extent of the identified problems and their impact on voters due to numerous documented failures in the (district’s) administration.” of the election,” La Sota said.

In a separate case, a judge on Dec. 3 dismissed a lawsuit against Hobbs and Maricopa County (pdf) that referenced Election Day voting issues across the country.

The lawsuit, brought by Republican House candidate Josh Barnett, alleged there was “election maladministration” across Maricopa County during the Nov. 8 midterms. Barnett lost the Republican primary to David Schweikert in August.

Jack Phillips

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Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times in New York. He covers breaking news.

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