Kari Lake Responds to Top Arizona Election Official Demanding ‘Felony’ Probe

Kari Lake Responds to Top Arizona Election Official Demanding ‘Felony’ Probe
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks during a get out the vote campaign rally in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 5, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has accused Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes of weaponizing the justice system after Fontes called for an investigation into Lake’s release of voter signatures.

“I am writing today to ask you to investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against Kari Lake for potential violations of Arizona law committed under her Twitter handle,” Fontes, a Democrat who was elected last November, wrote in a letter to state Attorney General Kris Mayes on Monday. Mayes, also a Democrat, was elected during the 2022 midterms.

The new secretary of state argued that Arizona law “prohibits posting any information derived from voter registration forms or precinct registers to the internet” and said that the voter or another authorized person is the only individuals who can reproduce the signatures. “A violation of this provision is a Class 6 felony,” wrote Fontest, who previously served as the Maricopa County Recorder from 2017 to 2021 and helped oversee the 2020 General Election in the county.

Lake’s Twitter post in question, dated Jan. 23, appears to show images of signatures from ballots. She was making reference to Senate testimony that “confirms nearly 40,000 ballots” were illegally counted. “I think all the ‘Election Deniers’ out there deserve an apology,” she added.

In response to Fontes’s letter, Lake’s lawyer, Tim LaSota issued a statement via Lake’s War Room Twitter account that said Fontes’s letter calling for an investigation is politically motivated.

“This is becoming all too common in politics—another attempt to weaponize the justice system with a phony allegation against a Republican,” LaSota said, adding that Mayes should “immediately” issue a clarification saying she won’t partake. “Adrian Fontes selectively quotes the statute in an attempt to distort the law and smear Kari Lake in the process.”

The information referenced by Fontes “came from the Arizona Senate investigation on acceptance of clearly mismatched signatures on early ballots, and Kari Lake has an absolute right under the First Amendment to republish the information presented to the Senate,” he wrote.

Lake, a former television journalist endorsed by former President Donald Trump, held a rally in Arizona over the past weekend calling for more election integrity in the state. On Twitter, Lake suggested that Fontes’s demand for an investigation was triggered by the rally.

“The day after THOUSANDS showed up to our SaveArizona Rally, the Corrupt Cabal in AZ threatens to throw me behind bars for exposing Fraud in the Election. Why? Because our Movement threatens their very existence,” she wrote. “I will never stop fighting for you.”

Democrat Adrian Fontes is seen speaking at an Election Night watch event at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 8, 2022. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, an election challenge that was filed by Lake’s team is scheduled to be heard by Arizona’s Court of Appeals this month. According to state data, Lake lost the election to Democrat Katie Hobbs by around 17,000 votes, although Lake has not conceded and has maintained that ballot issues on Election Day last year swayed the race in favor of Hobbs, who was sworn in as governor last month and has already issued numerous executive orders.

In December, a Maricopa County judge tossed her claims during a two-day trial, prompting an appeal. The Arizona Supreme Court has twice rejected a petition to transfer her case to the high court.

In an order issued on Jan. 25, the state Supreme Court ruled that because of the “Court of Appeals’ order setting an accelerated briefing schedule, the Court has no reason to doubt that the Court of Appeals appreciates Petitioner’s (Lake’s) desire for an expedited resolution.”

Her challenge cites statements made by Maricopa County officials on Nov. 8 that dozens of vote tabulation machines suffered printer errors that Lake and GOP officials say caused widespread delays and chaos. Maricopa County has maintained that no Election Day voters were disenfranchised by the errors, which they said were corrected that same day.

Lawyers for Hobbs in late January filed a response that seeks to dismiss Lake’s challenge, asserting that the GOP challenger failed to provide enough evidence.

“Despite seven witnesses, hundreds of declarants, and thousands of pages of exhibits, Lake failed to demonstrate any violations of Arizona law and offered no evidence that absent alleged violations the outcome of the election would have been different,” said the filing from Hobbs’ legal team.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.