Arizona Republican Party Chair Steps Down After Leak Of Bribe Recording

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The chairman of the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP), Jeff DeWit, resigned on Wednesday after a leaked recording revealed his attempt to bribe Senate candidate Kari Lake to postpone her 2024 campaign.

In the leaked audio originally given to The Daily Mail exclusively, DeWit said that the unnamed, “very powerful people […] back East” wanted Lake to sit out of the 2024 race. Lake posited that those people were corrupt; DeWit conceded to that observation.

“Is there a number at which… not be bought. You can take a pause for a couple of years, and then go right back to it,” said DeWit.

Lake said that she was offended that people were “trying to buy [her] out,” to which DeWit replied that she should be “honored.” DeWit asked Lake not to release their conversation because it would hinder the ability of the AZGOP to “get things done” in the future.

“This is not about money, this is about our country,” said Lake. “These people are un-American, and I think they’re unethical, and I would be absolutely immoral if I did that.”

DeWit said that even he was hoping for a different candidate, seeing as he couldn’t think of any other candidates that won a race immediately after losing.

“I want a fresh face right now for the reason that I’ve never seen anyone, I can’t think of a person in a federal race who’ve lost, ran again, and then won,” said DeWit. “I can give you an incredible opportunity to have a bigger voice to fight for stuff than you currently do.”

In his parting remarks to Lake, DeWit insisted again that she should be honored by the buyout, because the unnamed power players “back East” weren’t instead focusing on beating her.

DeWit announced his resignation in a press release. The former chairman characterized the audio as “selectively edited,” “deceptive,” and an “ethical breach” that raised “serious legal and moral concerns,” revealing that the recorded conversation took place in Lake’s living room while she was in DeWit’s employment.

“This act of recording was not just a betrayal of trust but also a violation of the fiduciary responsibilities of an employee,” said DeWit. “Contrary to accusations of bribery, my discussions were transparent and intended to offer perspective, not coercion.”

DeWit expressed the belief that Lake set him up in order to gain total control over the AZGOP.

“The release of our conversation by Lake confirms a disturbing tendency to exploit private interactions for personal gain and increases concern about her habit of secretly recording personal and private conversations,” said DeWit. “This is obviously a concern given how much interaction she has with high profile people including President Trump.”

According to DeWit, he was intent on fighting for his position — which he emphasized was unpaid and required many volunteer hours on his part — but decided to step down after Lake allegedly blackmailed him with “a new, more damaging recording.” DeWit noted that he wasn’t sure what this recording might contain, explaining that he and Lake shared numerous open conversations in the past.

“I am resigning as Lake requested, in the hope that she will honor her commitment to cease her attacks, allowing me to return to the business sector — a field I find much more logical and prefer over politics,” said DeWit.

DeWit emphasized that the controversy over the recording was “a distraction” to the mission of electing Republicans.

DeWit’s resignation came just days before the AZGOP planned to play host to former President Donald Trump at its Freedom Fest.


This article was published at AZ Free News and is reproduced with permission.

Image credit: Wikipedia


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