A Maricopa County Superior Court judge, Peter Thompson, shot down attempts by Maricopa lawyers to publically punish Kari Lake and her campaign and legal teams for calling for transparency in the Nov. 2022 AZ Governor’s election, where Democrat Katie Hobbs was announced the winner under very strange circumstances.
The move was surprising to clear Lake for making claims that the election had massive problems, so shortly after, Lake’s elections challenge was shot down by the same judge, who ruled that the troubled Governor’s election involving Lake needed no further inspection of her claims of fraud.
Here is how AZ Central explained the situation:
“Lake, who has been fighting to overturn the results of November’s election for months, lost again on May 22. Lawyers for the county filed a sanction request after the trial, writing that an assertion by Lake’s team that the election was “rigged” was “heinous and profoundly harmful.” They noted that one of Lake’s own witnesses disproved her team’s contention that the county had not conducted signature verification of ballots.
Thompson, however, ruled Friday that Lake’s failure to prove her claim by clear and convincing evidence doesn’t mean it was “groundless” and “not made in good faith.”
“Maricopa’s motion for sanctions, joined by Contestee/Governor Hobbs and the Secretary of State, is not supported by case law or the record. Trust in the elections is not furthered by punishing those who bring legitimate claims as Plaintiff did here. In fact, sanctioning Plaintiff would have the opposite effect. There is no basis in the record to show that Plaintiff’s claims constitute harassment, are groundless, and were not made in good faith. Plaintiff’s claims are supported by actual documents and log files produced by Maricopa and expert testimony. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff requests that the Court deny Defendant’s motion,” Lake’s Attorney argued.
Lake’s team celebrated the good news:
The Judge has DENIED requests by Maricopa County & Katie Hobbs for sanctions against @KariLake— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) May 27, 2023
We knew the Fake News narrative would collapse. Now it has.
Kari Lake will NEVER stop fighting to restore election integrity to the people of Arizona! pic.twitter.com/VC2daVYKhg
READ LAKE’S FULL Response_to_Motions_For_Sanctions__final_ (1)
Sidenote: The case is in AZ Superior Court, filed in Maricopa Co. and Lake’s Attorney Kurt Olsen from DC, admitted pro hac vice’, which is a pretty basic thing meaning:
Depending on the local rules and procedures, this may be accomplished with a motion to appear pro hac vice, in which an attorney who is licensed in the jurisdiction requests that the non‐licensed attorney be admitted to practice in a particular case. Which basically means ‘for this ocassion’ because he is out of the jurisdiction.
Olsen argued that Lake should be cleared of the sanctions because:
“Plaintiff Made No Misrepresentations of Material Fact in Connection With The Rule 60 Motion As stated in the Declaration of Clay Parikh, Plaintiff’s cyber expert, two distinct issues arose with Maricopa’s ballot on demand (“BOD”) printers that caused massive tabulator ballot rejections at nearly two-thirds of Maricopa’s 223 vote centers on Election Day: (1)
a remote access operation; (2) Scott Jarrett gave false testimony related to the so-called “fit-to- paper” issue; (3) 8,000 “fit-to-paper” ballots were improperly rejected and not counted in the
2022 General Election; and (4) that the evidence presented in the Parikh Declaration showed the 2022 General Election was “rigged.”
Olsen also argued that Maricopa CO. made false statements in their motion to sanction:
Maricopa claims that “Lake and her counsel intentionally misstated the content of Scott Jarrett’s prior testimony [and] . . . . re-urged the spurious claim that Jarrett lied in his testimony and caused the first judgment to be obtained via fraud.” Maricopa Br. 3-4. Maricopa’s argument is false. In her Rule 60 Motion opening brief, Plaintiff quoted Jarrett’s testimony from the December 2022 trial and stated, “Jarrett testified at least four times that he did not know of, nor did he hear of, a 19-inch ballot image projected onto 20-inch paper in the 2022 general election.”
Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-349 mandates that the Court assess reasonable attorney fees and expenses against an attorney or party who brings or defends a claim without substantial justification or primarily for delay or harassment, unreasonably expands or delays the proceeding, or engages in abuse of discovery.
(A). The statute defines “without substantial justification” as “groundless” and “not made in good faith.” A.R.S. § 12-349(F). A claim is
“groundless” if its proponent can present no rational argument based on the evidence or law to support it. Takieh v. O’Meara, 252 Ariz. 51, 61 ¶ 37 (App. 2021).
The Defendants contend that Lake “unnecessarily expanded these proceedings” by intentionally misstating the content of a witness’s testimony in her Rule 60 motion and that she proceeded to trial on a claim she knew lacked factual merit based on her own witness’s statements.
Lake is holding a rally to ‘Defend America’ to continue to talk about her concerns and to build what she calls a Ballot Harvesting campaign to combat the Democrat’s fraud in what she promises is a massive Get Out The Vote effort for 2024.