Judge Peter Thompson, who is overseeing Kari Lake’s electoral lawsuit, issued an emergency court hearing calling for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors officials, Democrat Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake to attend a court hearing on Tuesday.
Thompson said that the court has “reviewed” Lake’s “verified statement of election contest” and said the “matter will be set on an accelerated basis.”
The hearing had a rough start.
Lake had an initial court hearing on Tuesday in her election-related legal challenge against Katie Hobbs and other AZ election officials. The result was to set the schedule for the next motions.
“We’ve had three whistleblowers from Maricopa County reach out and say the system is seriously flawed,” Lake told Just the News on Monday.
“They were throwing out tens of thousands of signatures saying they were scribbles that in no way matched. But somewhere between there, the ballots were being completely tossed out and they got looped back into the system and counted as if they were fine,” she continued.
Lake noted that about 25,000 “additional ballots and early voting ballots were discovered two days after Election Day,” stating that they “just showed up.” She added: “It shows the whole system has serious problems.”
Lake said that about 25,000 “additional ballots and early voting ballots were discovered two days after Election Day,” adding that they “just showed up.” She continued: “It shows the whole system has serious problems.”
“We believe that up to 135,000 ballots were pushed through that should not have been pushed through,” Lake added, without elaborating.
“We’re asking a judge to let us take a look at all of the envelopes and compare signatures, so that we can find out for sure how many bad, fraudulent ballots got through in that way, of basically cheating or breaking the rules.”
Maricopa County spokesman Fields Moseley told Reuters that the court system is the appropriate venue for campaigns to challenge election results. Moseley stated that Maricopa’s election division “looks forward to sharing facts about the administration of the 2022 General Election and our work to ensure every legal voter had an opportunity to cast their ballot.”
In legal challenges like Lake’s, Arizona law sets a tight timeframe, as expected by Lake’s legal counsel, for deciding such matters.
Here’s what to know about the situation:
Public interest in the case is intense. Lake offered commentary on Twitter about how she and her legal team couldn’t get online for the hearing due to the volume of traffic to the site.
The Tuesday hearing was slated to start at 11 a.m., and was about 40 minutes late because of the number of people — at least 700 at one point — who tried to access the online platform at the same time.
After the delay, Thompson directed attorneys for the defendants in the lawsuit to file motions to dismiss the case, a routine step, on Thursday. He scheduled a hearing on the motions for 9 a.m. Monday, and additional hearings to dig into Lake’s claims, if necessary, on Dec. 21 and 22.
Hobbs’ attorneys contended hearings later next week won’t happen.
“The secretary does believe that the court will be able to dispose of this case in its entirety on a motion to dismiss without the need for an evidentiary hearing,” Hobbs’ lawyer, Andy Gaona, said in the hearing. Bryan Blehm, Lake’s attorney, signaled his team will also seek to review ballots themselves and would file another court motion to do so.
Andy Gaona, representing the Secretary of State’s Office, asked the judge keep the case on a short schedule.
“Essentially a one-day hearing should give the plaintiffs the opportunity to make whatever case they believe they have, a case we believe is nonexistent,” Gaona said during Tuesday’s virtual hearing.
Hobbs is set to be sworn in as governor in early January. Gaona said if the case runs too long, it could interrupt the peaceful transition of power.
But Lake’s attorney, Bryan Blehm, said he’d need more time to work through his arguments.
“This is a pretty significant factual hearing, your honor,” Blehm said.
Thompson said he did have some concerns about timing. He scheduled two hours on Monday for oral arguments for the motions to dismiss and set a two-day hearing schedule for later next week.
Lake, in a statement after the judge adjourned the hearing, said she was confident that her case would “expose this election for the sham it was.
Lake spoke with Steve Bannon on his War Room program and debriefed him on what happened to update him.
“The whole world is watching and interested in what’s happening here. They know how important getting honest elections are to saving this Republic. Some Wise Guys on Twitter say- Oh, this is a coping mechanism of a baby. This is not coping, we won this. And obviously, Katie Hobbs is illegitimate. She know she’s legitimate. That’s why they’re dancing around and didn’t want to show up today.
Hobbs attorney said that she was there representing governor-elect Hobbs and I had to hold back my out loud laughter After she said and you know, this is what it’s about, we are going to show the scale of fraud and malicious intent. In this case, it’s outrageous what they did, what they did to the good people of Arizona, how they perverted election day voting in the most hostile way possible. It’s disgusting what they did and we are looking forward to this case moving forward, it looks like they’re going to try to push forward a motion to dismiss,” Lake said.