- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County want a state judge to sanction Republican Kari Lake in the wake of a court dismissing her lawsuit to overturn her loss against the Democrat.

Ms. Hobbs and the county argued Monday in court filings for Arizona Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson to also impose fines on Ms. Lake for her “unfounded attacks” on election officials. Judge Thompson said in a Christmas Eve ruling there was no “clear and convincing” evidence of malfeasance at the polls.

“Enough really is enough,” Maricopa County said in its filing. “It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one.”

Ms. Hobbs wants $550,000 in damages, the vast majority of which would go to the firm of Democratic elections attorney Marc Elias.

The county, which accused Ms. Lake of exploiting the legal system to “harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections,” is seeking $25,000 in legal fees.

Ms. Lake was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and says the 2020 election was fraudulent. She narrowly lost last month to Ms. Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes and has not conceded. 

“Before a single vote was counted in the 2022 general election, Kari Lake publicly stated that she would accept the results of the gubernatorial election only if she were the winning candidate,” Maricopa County said.

Attorneys for Ms. Lake did not immediately respond to a request for comment. She previously vowed to appeal her legal fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“These are the new rules in Arizona. They can shut down the machines and steal your vote,” the Lake campaign tweeted, referring to concerns about voting machines. “But even if you catch them in the act you can’t do a damn thing about it. The law apparently allows for elections to be stolen. But provides no remedy to reverse it.”

Maricopa County is home to more than half the state’s population and has been at the epicenter of past election fraud claims made by Mr. Trump and his allies. It encompasses Phoenix and surrounding areas.

In their filings, Ms. Hobbs and Maricopa County cited a since-deleted tweet from Ms. Lake as evidence she is questioning the judge’s integrity. It stated that Judge Thompson was “ghostwritten” and that “left-wing attorneys like Marc Elias emailed him what to say.”

Ms. Lake’s campaign has said she was simply quoting an article from a conservative news publication.

• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at rtouchberry@washingtontimes.com.

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