Unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who staked much of her 2022 election bid on peddling Donald Trump’s big lie, admitted Tuesday that she’s having trouble retaining lawyers in her quest to get her own election loss overturned.
“We had attorneys who did walk away because the left is threatening them with their ability to make a living and practice law,” she said Tuesday to Charlie Kirk at his Turning Point USA conference in Phoenix. “And some of our attorneys said ‘look, I got mouths to feed, I can’t do this case, I don’t want to be sanctioned.’”
“I got to a point where I said ‘I’ll take anybody,’” she said to laughter. “We’ll take Better Call Saul to come in here.”
Her case likely did not become any more appealing to prospective lawyers after a Superior Court judge in Maricopa County dismissed eight of the 10 claims in her lawsuit this week.
Lake — working within the mold of Trump’s legal team, which, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, desperately tried a whole gamut of legal sorcery to wrench back the battleground states — also took the flinging-spaghetti-at-the-wall approach.
Judge Peter Thompson had difficulty suppressing his bafflement as he ticked through the 10-part hodgepodge. He is allowing two claims — one centered on a ballot printing machine and one centered on the ballot chain of custody — to go forward, though it remains very uncertain that Lake will be able to muster the proof to back them up at that stage.
He flatly dismissed her claim that Arizona’s mail-in ballot procedure is unconstitutional, noting that the statute governing that part of the election process was adopted in 1991.
“Lake could have brought this challenge at any time in the last 30 years,” he quipped in a Monday evening decision. “To do so now is to invite confusion and prejudice when absolutely no explanation has been given for the unreasonable delay.”
Lake tosses into her lawsuit handfuls of reasons why she should have won the election: election officials were “censoring” her, the validation process for signatures on mail-in ballots was insufficient, her constitutional rights were trampled.
“Plaintiff does not clearly allege that an actor actually discriminated against a class (i.e. Republicans) or that this discrimination could actually alter the outcome given ticket splitters even among election day voters,” Thompson wrote. “Plaintiff has trouble even at this stage drawing a through-line from purported discrimination to well-pled impact.”
Mark Finchem, Lake’s fellow Arizona election-denier who unsuccessfully ran for secretary of state, saw his lawsuit challenging the election results dismissed with prejudice late last week. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian will hear Secretary of State-Elect Adrian Fontes and Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs’ requests to file sanctions against the teams for Finchem and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. House Republican Jeff Zink.
Thompson referenced the Finchem decision in emphasizing the extremity of what Lake is asking him to do.
“As for prejudice, as another department of this Court indicated in dismissing another election claim, any procedural challenge post-election ‘ask[s] us to overturn the will of the people as expressed in the election,’” he wrote, quoting the Finchem case. “This is an exceedingly high degree of prejudice against both the parties and the public, which this Court is loath to excuse.”