Kari Lake’s Election Lawsuit Going To Trial

An Arizona judge ruled late Monday that Kari Lake’s election security lawsuit against Maricopa County will go to trial. The Republican candidate for governor filed the case on December 9, arguing that “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected” last month’s election that saw Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs win by a narrow margin after days of ballot counting.

The evidence Lake intends to present in the case includes over 270 exhibits and the testimony of several expert witnesses.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson had ruled last week that Lake’s attorneys could inspect a “small number of printed and early ballots from the election, including 50 that were marked ‘spoiled’ on Election Day.” The inspection of that evidence was scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

At a separate hearing on Monday, the judge dismissed eight of the claims raised in Lake’s complaint. However, he allowed two central claims to remain in play for a full trial. Both claims allege that county election officials plotted to manipulate the election’s outcome in favor of Hobbs.

The ruling says that the court will conduct the trial across two days and will be completed before January 3. Judge Thompson also ordered that Hobbs and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer will have to testify at the trial according to Lake’s request.

Thomspon found that the lawsuit’s allegation that the defendants engaged in “intentional misconduct sufficient to affect the outcome of the election” is an issue of fact that must be resolved after a trial including witness testimony and documentary evidence.

He specifically found that Lake bears the burden of proving at trial that the county’s “printer malfunctions were intentional and designed to affect the election results and that the actions did actually affect the outcome” as the lawsuit alleges.

Hobbs’ legal team argued unsuccessfully at the Monday hearing that the case should be thrown out and sanctions imposed against Lake and her attorneys for even filing it.

Lake attorney Kurt Olsen responded by arguing that the case will expose possibly illegal acts and systemic failures caused or allowed by state and county election officials. He argued that those actions had disenfranchised “tens of thousands” of the county’s voters.

Olsen also said the court should hear the testimony of cybersecurity expert Clay Parikh. He has provided a written opinion based on his analysis that the “system-wide failures” in Maricopa County could only be explained by intentional manipulation.

Lake tweeted Monday that she would address the public on Tuesday about her expectations for the trial.

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