A request by Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell for sanctions against Kari Lake and her attorneys in their election challenge has been denied. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson ruled that Lake’s attorneys “did not stray from advocacy into misconduct as would warrant invocation of the Court’s sanctioning authority.”
Mitchell and her legal team have been widely criticized for their overt hostility towards any election challenge legally allowed under Arizona law. In fact, the request for sanctions by Mitchell’s team prompted Republican activists to call for Mitchell to be “primaried” in the 2024 election cycle.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) May 27, 2023
An account associated with the Lake campaign tweeted:
“The Judge has DENIED requests by Maricopa County & Katie Hobbs for sanctions against @KariLake
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!”
Mitchell and her team accused Lake’s team of intentionally misrepresenting facts to the Court that they knew “lacked factual merit.” The judge disagreed.
“The Court does not find that the “misstatements” in the Rule 60 motion briefing, or the “remarkably bold assertion” assertion at oral argument alleged by the Defendants stray from advocacy into misconduct as would warrant invocation of the Courts sectioning authority. The proceedings in which the statements were made were Lake’s and the Defendants’ opportunity to argue their cases and present their evidence. They did so, and the Court ruled,” wrote Judge Thompson.
“Sanctions motions like this undermine the very foundation of American society,” said elections attorney and Arizona State Rep. Alex Kolodin. “In the long run, it is not good for anyone, left or right, to discourage people from working through political disputes in a peaceful, collegial, judicial process. Judge Thompson was exactly right to push back against this insane effort to deny conservatives access to the courtroom by seeking to deter attorneys from representing them.”
Lake has said she intends to appeal Judge Thompson’s finding that she did not prove her assertion that signature verification was not properly conducted during the 2022 General Election in Maricopa County.