The Arizona Secretary of State’s office and Maricopa County on Monday petitioned a judge to sanction GOP candidate Kari Lake after her election-related lawsuit was rejected over the weekend.
On Monday, the two parties filed a motion in the Maricopa County Superior Court against Lake and her legal team.
“Courts are established by Arizona’s Constitution and statutes to resolve actual disputes between parties,” Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Thomas P. Liddy wrote Monday in a 15-page memo (pdf), asking Judge Peter Thompson for the sanctions and attorneys fees. “They do not exist so that candidates for political office can attempt to make political statements and fundraise. And they should not be used to harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections. All of those things happened in this matter.”
Hobbs’s legal team joined the motion for sanctions, according to court documents.
“Enough really is enough. It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials,” the memo also said. “This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one.”
The memo also asserted that Lake “and her counsel doubled down with the present action … this Court should sanction both lawyers and client under [Arizona law] to impart to them the seriousness of their misuse of the courts to seek to undermine Arizona elections and impugn hardworking elections workers and officials for purely political – not legal – purposes.”
The motion asks that Lake pay $25,050 in attorney fees for Hobbs and Maricopa County.
The Epoch Times has contacted Lake’s team for comment. The GOP candidate has not yet issued a response in court.
On Dec. 24, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson tossed Lake’s lawsuit that asserted there were election-related problems across Maricopa County on Election Day.
“A court setting such a margin aside, as far as the Court is able to determine, has never been done in the history of the United States,” Thompson wrote (pdf). “This challenge also comes after a hotly contested gubernatorial race and an ongoing tumult over election procedures and legitimacy—a far less uncommon occurrence in this country.”
But Lake has pledged to appeal after Thompson dismissed her case. On Monday, she sought to compel testimony from alleged whistleblowers about the Nov. 8 election.
“As our appeal moves forward, we again extend our invitation [and] offer complete protection to all whistleblowers,” her campaign wrote on Twitter Monday morning. “Arizona deserves the full truth about what occurred on Election Day. And the people who caused it deserve accountability.”
Her team wrote Sunday that she hopes her appeal gives such claims the “attention it deserves.”
Lake lost to Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs by about 17,000 votes, according to election data. Several weeks after the midterms, Lake filed a lawsuit against Hobbs in her capacity as the current secretary of state, Maricopa County election officials, and other officials.
Among other claims, Lake cited Maricopa County officials’ Nov. 8 news conference in which they confirmed printer errors at a number of tabulation centers across the county. During a two-day trial, she brought in several witnesses that said the problems disproportionately impacted Republican voters.
After Thompson’s ruling, Lake issued a statement saying that her lawyers “proved without a shadow of a doubt that there was malicious intent that caused disruption so great it changed the results of the election” and said that “we demand fair, honest, transparent elections, and we will get them.”
At one point during the trial, Lake’s attorneys questioned a witness who said he found that 14 of 15 duplicate ballots he had inspected on their behalf had 19-inch images of the ballot printed on 20-inch paper, meaning the ballots wouldn’t be read by a tabulator. The witness testified that such a change would have required a change to printer configurations, although election officials disputed those assertions.
Lake also called on pollster Richard Baris, who told the court that he believes technical problems at polling places had disenfranchised enough voters that it would have changed the outcome of the race in Lake’s favor. Baris noted that Election Day voters in Maricopa mostly trended Republican.
Thompson previously gave Hobbs until 8 a.m. local time on Monday to file a motion for sanctions. Lake has until 5 p.m. on Monday to respond.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.