The Potentially Damaging Recording from Arizona that could Ruin Kari Lake

Everyone in Arizona Republican politics appeared to know Tuesday just what was being referred as the “secret tape.”

In developments that could only be called “explosive,” State GOP Chairman Jeff DeWit announced he is resigning after press revelations of a secret audio tape in which he seemed to be offering controversial U.S. Senate hopeful Kari Lake a job in return for her exit from the Senate primary.

Adding to the intrigue is that Lake wore a hidden wire when she met with DeWit months ago and revealed that fact only now.

Now there is talk of Lake being forced out of the primary for the seat of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a former Democrat who is considering a reelection bid as an independent.

“Kari is toast,” one veteran Scottsdale Republican activist who requested anonymity told Newsmax. “There’s a big meeting [of party activists] Saturday. We need to get through it and then talk.”

The recording, which experts have verified as the actual voices of DeWit and Lake, was made in DeWit’s home in March as Lake was waging an eventually doomed court battle to overturn her narrow defeat in the 2022 race for governor. 

At one point, the chairman said, “Just say, is there a number at which” she would not run. Apparently offended, Lake  was heard in the audio tape stating, “I can be bought? That’s what it’s about!”

The clip continues with DeWit saying, “You can take a pause for a couple of years. You can go right back to what you’re doing.” Lake, still obviously offended, said,  “[T]his is not about money, it’s about our country.”

Lake told reporters Tuesday that although she secretly recorded DeWit, she had only recently listened to it. Incensed that DeWit would hint at what she considered a quid pro quo to forego the Senate race, Lake made the tape pubic. London-based Daily Mail was the first to publish it.

Laws in different states making illegal any offer of something of value to a candidate to get in or out of a race are serious business — even when no one is indicted or convicted.  A famous case-in-point was California’s seven-candidate Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 1986.

In a bizarre development, Rep. Bobbi Fiedler and her campaign manager were indicted after charges by primary opponent and State Sen. Ed Davis that she had offered $100,000 to withdraw from the race in her favor. Ironically, Los Angeleans Davis and Fiedler were friends and the Davis had just recently attended the wedding of the congresswoman’s daughter. 

Fiedler’s team cried foul and made a counter-charge that Davis’ campaign manager solicited them for money to retire his debts if he withdrew in her favor. A judge finally tossed out the case before it went to court, but the damage was done. Fiedler and Davis each ended up in single digits in the primary.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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