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Lawyers for Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed emergency petitions with a state court this week that sought to prevent her from having to testify in an election lawsuit brought by GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Reports noted that, on Monday, Hobbs’ attorneys filed a petition to block a subpoena forcing the declared governor-elect to testify in Lake’s lawsuit, which went to trial on Wednesday. Lake argued that, as secretary of state, one of Hobbs’ primary functions is to oversee elections.
Lake’s lawsuit argues, among other things, that there were enough problems in Maricopa County, the state’s largest, on Election Day that contributed to her 17,000-vote loss to Hobbs. Maricopa County election officials have denied the allegations.
State Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against Hobbs’ motion Monday evening, noting in his order the issues at hand concern an “activity wholly within her wheelhouse: the conduct of elections,” according to the Western Journal.
Nevertheless, Hobbs’ attorneys filed another petition late Monday night, noting that the two counts Thompson ruled on to allow Lake’s lawsuit to proceed had no direct involvement of their client, making her testimony moot.
“Though there was no good-faith basis for the Subpoena to begin with … there is absolutely no good faith basis to require the Secretary to testify now given the scope of the MTD Order,” Hobbs’ legal team noted in their second motion.
“And to the extent Plaintiff has any questions that are relevant (and there is simply no way she could), Kori Lorick, State Elections Director, has already been disclosed as a potential witness who ‘may testify regarding the Arizona Secretary of State’s election-related duties and responsibilities, or other matters related to the Secretary of State’s Office relevant to this case,’” Hobbs’ attorneys added.
That led Arizona Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers to tweet in response: “Katie Hobbs just filed a Motion to Quash. Good luck. She refused to debate and now she doesn’t want to testify?”
Katie Hobbs just filed a Motion to Quash. Good luck. She refused to debate and now she doesn’t want to testify? @KariLake
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) December 20, 2022
On Tuesday, Lake’s attorneys withdrew their subpoena since the two counts at trial have to do with Maricopa County and not the secretary of state’s office, as noted by KNXV-TV political analyst Garrett Archer.
Subpoena was withdrawn since the two remaining counts only have to do with @maricopacounty
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) December 20, 2022
Lake’s lawsuit contends that widespread ballot printer problems and resulting tabulator issues occurred at 59 percent of polling locations throughout Maricopa County, or 132 in all; county election officials have admitted that about 70 sites, or one-third the country’s total, were impacted. The suit also alleges intentional mismanagement of the balloting process on Election Day, which saw long lines at polling places caused by printers running out of ink, vote tally machines being unable to read ballots, and other issues that led to mass voter disenfranchisement.
Thompson earlier approved requests by Lake’s legal team to review 50 random “ballot on demand” printed ballots cast on Election Day, as well as another 50 early ballots cast from “six separate Maricopa County batches.” Furthermore, the judge approved her to examine another 50 random ballot-on-demand printed ballots that were marked as spoiled.
Townhall reported that the ballot inspections were to commence on Tuesday.
“I am thankful to Judge Peter Thompson and his team for the work they do and we are confident that given the opportunity, we will expose this election for the sham it was,” Lake said in a statement following the ruling.
Just the News noted in a recent report:
Last week a Maricopa County Superior Court judge approved Lake’s request to inspect random ballots from the county, both in-person and mail-in, in order to prepare for a potential trial.
Though polling averages had predicted her to sail to an easy victory, Lake, like many Republicans, underperformed significantly as a “red wave” failed to materialize during the 2022 midterm contests.
Lake brought down the house over the weekend with a fiery speech in front of a boisterous crowd at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Lake slammed “evil b*stards” who were involved with the gubernatorial race in Arizona.
A video posted online caught a snippet of the speech, where Lake declared, “They messed with the wrong b*tch!”
Kari Lake: "They've Messed With The Wrong B*tch, Okay?"pic.twitter.com/tEIHyp0AIR
— Patriot News Alerts (@pxn45) December 18, 2022