Arizona GOP Chair Resigns After Audio Appears to Show Him Bribing Kari Lake Not to Run for Senate

2024-01-24 12:00:18

Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jeff DeWitt has resigned after The Daily Mail published audio that shows him trying to bribe Kari Lake not to run for the Senate.

DeWitt claimed Lake “released a selectively edited” recording of a conversation they had ten months ago. He also said it was “taken out of context.”

The conversation happened when Lake contemplated launching a Senate run.

Lake officially announced her candidacy in October.

“This morning, I was determined to fight for my position,” DeWit wrote. “However, a few hours ago, I received the ultimatum from Lake’s team: resign today or face the release of a new, more damaging recording. I am truly unsure of its contents, but considering our numerous past open conversations as friends, I have decided not to take the risk.

“I am resigning as Lake requested, in the hope that she will honor her commitment to cease her attacks, allowing me to return to the business sector-a field I find much more logical and prefer over politics.”

Lake told NBC that DeWit had to resign because the Arizona Republican Party couldn’t “have somebody who’s corrupt and compromised.”

Maricopa County Republican Committee Chair Craig Berland agreed: “If this is, in fact, true, I’m asking AZGOP Chairman Jeff DeWit to resign.”

The audio is 10 minutes long. Here is a snippet:

DEWIT: “Is — just to say, is there a number at which —”
LAKE: “I can be bought?”
DEWIT: “Not be bought.”
LAKE: “That’s what it’s about.”
DEWIT: “You can take a pause for a couple of years now.”
LAKE: “No.”
DEWIT: “They go right back to it.”
LAKE: “No. 10 million, 20 million, 30? No, no, no. A billion? No. This is not about money, this is about our country. I think it’s disturbing that they would even — that anybody would think this is —”
DEWIT: “Now, to be fair, even me — even me, I’ll say this, I want a fresh face right now for the reason that I’ve never seen anyone, I can’t think of a single person in a federal race who’ve lost [indecipherable]. I can’t think of it. If you can think of it let me know.”
LAKE: “I’m not going to let these people who hate our [bleep] country tell me not to run. You should call them and tell them to get behind me.”
DEWIT: “I mean, I — I will happily say those words.”
LAKE: “I can win and they should get behind me.”

“Contrary to the notion of me being an enemy of Lake’s, this conversation was recorded while I was actually employing Lake in my private company,” explained DeWit. “In fact for over a year and a half we had many conversations where I was looking out for her financial interests. The ethical breach in her recording of our conversation, while Lake was my employee, raises serious legal and moral concerns.”

DeWit said he thought he was “offering a helpful perspective to someone I considered a friend.”

“Since our conversation where I advised Lake to postpone her campaign and aim for the Governor’s position in two years, she has been on a mission to destroy me,” added DeWit. “It was a suggestion made in good faith, believing it could benefit both her future prospects and the part’s overall strategy.”

DeWit called Lake’s actions proof of her “disturbing tendency to exploit private interactions for personal gain and increases concerns about her habit of secretly recording personal and private conversations.”

The habit concerns DeWit because of her closeness to former President Donald Trump.

“I question how effective a United States Senator can be when they cannot be trusted to engage in private and confidential conversations,” stated DeWit.

 




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