Judge Denies Ariz. Gov.-Elect's Call for Sanctions Against Lake

    Judge Denies Ariz. Gov.-Elect's Call for Sanctions Against Lake
    Last updated Dec 28, 2022
    Image credit: Fox News


    • Arizona Judge Peter Thompson, who oversaw the two-day trial of Kari Lake's lawsuit challenging the results of the state's gubernatorial election, has denied Govenor-elect Katie Hobbs' request to impose sanctions against Lake. Thompson ruled that Lake's lawsuit wasn't brought in bad faith.[1]
    • Lake filed the suit this month over ballot printer problems and ballot chain of custody misconduct, which she alleged cost her a victory in the race against Hobbs. However, Judge Peter Thompson ruled that her witnesses lacked knowledge of intentional misconduct.[2]
    • Maricopa County was seeking over $25K to cover its own legal fees, while Hobbs, whose 17K-vote win was secured by the court ruling, was asking for a separate $550.2K in attorney fees from Lake, more than $450k of which would go to Democratic elections lawyer Marc Elias’s firm.[3]
    • The county's filing stated "enough really is enough," and added that Lake's lawsuit "was brought without any legitimate justification." The county also accused Lake of trying to "fundraise" off her efforts to overturn the election and of using the court "to harass political opponents."[4]
    • The desired fees would have covered Hobbs' expenditures after hiring Coppersmith Brockelman PLC attorney Andrew Gaona, from whom she received the drafting of a motion to dismiss, aid in preparing for the evidentiary hearing, and participation in the two-day evidentiary hearing.[5]
    • Though Hobbs won't receive the roughly $600K she wanted to cover legal fees, Judge Thompson did award her just under $34K to cover other costs. Meanwhile, Lake's lawyers formally notified Thompson on Tuesday that they will be appealing his dismissal of their case.[6]


    Democratic narrative

    Lake, like every other Arizona Republican who challenged election results and lost, made baseless claims from the get-go and is now facing the consequences. It’s bad enough to sow doubt about election integrity via social media, but making such egregious accusations through the legal system is indefensible. Hopefully, the court will side with Hobbs and show election deniers what happens when you lie about results.

    Republican narrative

    Aside from potential sanctions against Lake, the real news here is that this was a sham trial from the beginning. Despite Lake providing evidence of malfunctioning vote tabulators at a significant portion of majority-Republican polling sites, Thompson chalked it up to coincidence. Two days wasn’t nearly enough time to thoroughly investigate the matter, but it seems the court had no desire to conduct an effective probe.

    Political split