Judge Rejects Maricopa County’s Request for Sanctions Against Kari Lake, Says Election Lawsuit Wasn’t ‘Groundless’

After ruling against Kari Lake in a remanded election trial challenging her gubernatorial loss to Katie Hobbs, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson rejected Maricopa County’s motion for sanctions against Lake on Friday, just three days after their attorneys filed the request. The county’s attorneys asserted that Lake’s team made several false statements to the court. Lake’s attorneys filed a response opposing the request on Thursday.

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Maricopa County Asks for Sanctions Against Kari Lake for Contesting Election

For the second time, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell is representing Maricopa County officials asking for sanctions against Kari Lake and her attorneys related to the 2022 election.

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Mark Finchem Responds to Sanctions for Bringing Election Challenge over Voter Disenfranchisement in His Race

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian awarded sanctions last week against Mark Finchem and his attorney Tom McCauley over Finchem’s lawsuit challenging his election loss in the Arizona Secretary of State’s race. Democrat Adrian Fontes, who won the race, asked the court for sanctions in December. Finchem and McCauley will be required to pay attorneys fees, the legal costs of Fontes’, and then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office defending against the lawsuit. Finchem issued a statement after the ruling.

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Abe Hamadeh and RNC File Reply Supporting Motion for a New Trial in Election Contest, ‘Closest Statewide Race in History’ Requires ‘Exacting Review’

Abe Hamadeh’s election challenge for attorney general continues to wind its way through the court system, with his attorneys filing a reply in Mohave County Superior Court supporting their motion for a new trial on Monday. The Consolidated Reply in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for a New Trial addressed the claims brought up in the response from defendant Kris Mayes, who was declared the winner in the race. The lawsuit, which included the Republican National Committee and Republican Jeanne Kentch of Mohave County as plaintiffs, was also filed against Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

Hamadeh’s reply brief, led by former Attorney General Election Integrity Unit civil attorney Jen Wright, emphasized the race’s closeness as a reason for a do-over.

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Kari Lake Attorney Tim LaSota on Adrian Fontes’s Investigation Request: ‘Another Attempt to Weaponize the Justice System’

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) sent a letter to Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) Monday, requesting she investigates Republican Kari Lake for allegedly violating state law by sharing images of voter signatures on social media. Tim LaSota, one of Lake’s attorneys, accused Fontes of selectively quoting the law to defame Lake.

“This is becoming all too common in politics – another attempt to weaponize the justice system with a phony allegation against a Republican. Adrian Fontes selectively quotes the statute in an attempt to distort the law and smear Kari Lake in the process. Kris Mayes should immediately say that she will have no part in this shameful, disgusting effort,” LaSota said in a statement emailed to The Arizona Sun Times.

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Kari Lake Files Reply Brief with Arizona Court of Appeals in Election Contest Lawsuit

Kari Lake’s election lawsuit contesting her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the gubernatorial race is at the Arizona Court of Appeals after being dismissed by the trial court judge. Lake filed a reply on Tuesday to the responses from defendants Maricopa County and then-Secretary of State Hobbs.

The reply brief began, “Defendants ignore the trial court’s holdings, misstate the law, misstate material facts, and — unable to get their stories straight — contradict each other.” 

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Former Arizona AG Attorney Joins Abe Hamadeh’s Election Challenge Team Due to New AG ‘Targeting’ Her

The former Election Integrity Unit civil attorney for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office is making it clear she does not believe the new Attorney General is rightfully in office. Jennifer Wright, who resigned before Democrat Kris Mayes took office — but who Mayes’ office claimed was fired to journalists, causing Wright to start the process for a libel lawsuit — has joined the legal team of Mayes’ opponent, Republican Abe Hamadeh, who is challenging the results of the extremely close election. 

Wright tweeted that she initially turned down Hamadeh’s offer, but changed her mind “after @krismayes targeted me by falsely and unlawfully planting a hit on me on @azcentral.” She said “it became clear that left unchecked, the new admin intended to abuse their power.” 

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Legal Experts Weigh In on the Merits of Kari Lake’s Election Lawsuit

As the second day of Kari Lake’s trial contesting Arizona’s gubernatorial election wrapped up Thursday, various election law attorneys provided their analysis on social media and videos. Some were optimistic that Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson would grant Lake relief, declaring her the winner or calling for a new election, but some were not as optimistic.

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Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline Warns About the Destruction of the Rule of Law if Kari Lake’s Election Lawsuit is Dismissed

As Kari Lake’s lawsuit contesting the results of the gubernatorial election winds its way through the legal system, various legal experts are speaking out on the merits of the case. Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who is currently a professor at Liberty University and director of the election integrity legal organization Amistad Project, warned on Friday that if Lake’s lawsuit is dismissed, allowing Democrat Katie Hobbs to become governor, it will undermine the rule of law. 

Kline tweeted, “If Hobbs is successful in dismissing Lake’s suit it only proves 1) election officials can violate procedure and law without accountability 2) partisan private vendors can still be used to conduct core government functions 3) legislators & others have failed to learn from 2020 and 4) many of those who claimed to fix the 2020 problems are wrong!” 

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Maricopa County Judge Dismisses Mark Finchem’s Election Lawsuit, Affirms Fontes as Arizona Secretary of State-Elect

In a 13-page decision Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Iyer Julian dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit challenging the certified election outcome by former Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, KOLD News 13 reported.

Julian’s ruling rejected Finchem’s allegations of misconduct and election administration errors, goes on to forbid Finchem from refiling a future complaint on the same grounds. Judge Julian also and affirmed Democrat Adrian Fontes is the state’s Secretary of State-elect.

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State Rep. Sonny Borrelli Files Lawsuit Contesting Maricopa County’s Election Results

Candidates and other interested parties have started filing lawsuits contesting the election results in Arizona, particularly in Maricopa County, where 59 percent of the vote centers were plagued with ballot tabulation problems, causing long lines in heavily Republican areas forcing some voters to leave without voting. One of those lawsuits was filed on Monday by State Senator Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu), challenging the use of AI to verify signatures, which Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has stated is illegal.

Attorneys for the election integrity organization True the Vote drafted the complaint. It asserted, “Maricopa County ran 1.3 million images, on monitors, past the eyes of a few dozen of its Signature Verifiers at such a rapid clip that it was physically impossible for them to verify the Delegated Software’s adjudications about those images reliably.” True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht told The Arizona Sun Times, “Many voters in Mohave County reported concern that their votes were being diluted by events in Maricopa County. We listened, retained counsel, and got to work. This litigation seeks to uncover the source of their concerns. We look forward to seeing it tried in court.”

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Judge Holds Emergency Court Hearing over Election Lawsuit, Calls for Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs to Appear

Arizona Judge Peter Thompson issued an order Tuesday for Arizona gubernatorial nominees Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs to appear in court regarding the election lawsuit filed by Lake.

“The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs’ Verified Statement of Election Contest filed December 9, 2022. Because this matter is an election challenge, the return hearing will be set on an accelerated basis,” according to Thompson.

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Kari Lake Files Lawsuit Loaded with Evidence Contesting Election Results

Two weeks after filing a complaint requesting data from the 2022 midterm election in Maricopa County, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has filed another lawsuit against election officials contesting the election results, alleging voter disenfranchisement and suppression. Lake called for a forensic audit of the printer-tabulator problems, an inspection of ballots and voter registration records, including signatures, disqualification of illegal votes, and redoing the election as well as other relief.

Kurt Olsen, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, told The Arizona Sun Times he believes the election anomalies were “intentional since they didn’t test all of their equipment and follow the appropriate processes when problems arose.” He asked, “Why haven’t they done their own forensic audit 30 days later?” He said Maricopa County officials’ cavalier attitude about the problems and their lack of trying to find out what happened is telling. “Does anybody believe this widespread failure, oh shucks, just happened?” he wondered.

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