Monday, April 15, 2024

Ariz. GOP Chair Quits after Kari Lake Warns of Worse Recording

'I received an ultimatum from Lake’s team: resign today or face the release of a new, more damning recording...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Jeff DeWitt, the embattled chair of the Arizona Republican Party, resigned after a damning audio surfaced, exposing him attempting to bribe Kari Lake not to run for the U.S. Senate. 

DeWitt faced criticism on Tuesday when the Daily Mail released an audio in which he asked Lake not to run for office in exchange for monetary gains, such as a job or other perks. Lake, along with other critics, demanded his immediate resignation.

In a lengthy Wednesday statement, DeWitt claimed he was resigning due to threats that more damaging recordings could be released if he did not step down as the highest Republican operative in Arizona. 

“This morning, I was determined to fight for my position. However, a few hours ago, I received an ultimatum from Lake’s team: resign today or face the release of a new, more damning recording,” DeWitt alleged. 

“I am truly unsure of its contents, but considering our numerous past open conversations as friends, I have decided not to take the risk. I am resigning as Lake requested, in the hope that she will honor her commitment to cease her attacks,” he continued.

In the leaked audio, DeWitt can be heard telling Lake that there were “powerful” people who wanted her out of the political arena. 

“There are very powerful people who want to keep you out,” DeWitt declared. “So, the ask I got today from back east was: ‘Is there any companies out there or something that could just put her on the payroll to keep her out?’” 

In other parts of the audio, DeWitt asked Lake whether “there was a number” at which she would consider skipping the senate race against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who is now running as an independent. 

Following the audio release, Lake rebuked DeWitt and called for his immediate resignation. “He’s gotta resign,” Lake told NBC News. “We can’t have somebody who is corrupt and compromised running the Republican Party.”

Lake announced her Senate bid in October 2023 amid rumors that former President Donald Trump was considering her as his potential running mate in 2024. Shortly after her announcement, Trump endorsed Lake. 

Arizona will hold its primary election on August 6, 2024. Rep. Ruben Gallego is running for the Democratic nomination. Sinema was initially elected as a Democrat in 2018 but has since left the Democratic Party, citing ideological differences. 

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