PHOENIX — >>Editor's note: A judge has since denied Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County's motion to sanction Kari Lake, but awarded Hobbs roughly $33,000 for legal fees. Find our updated coverage here.
Kari Lake and her legal team could be facing over $60,000 in sanctions for an election-challenging lawsuit that Maricopa County calls "groundless" and "frivolous."
After losing the gubernatorial race by roughly 17,000 votes, Lake filed two lawsuits aimed at overturning the election results and redoing the election in Maricopa County.
Of Lake's 10 claims, only two made it to trial after a judge dismissed the rest.
Lake didn’t offer evidence to back her claims of widespread, intentional misconduct on Election Day at her two-day trial on Dec. 21-22 challenging her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the state's governor’s race
Lake also never proved her claim that printer problems at Maricopa County polling places were intentional acts that would have changed the race’s outcome had they not occurred, said Abha Khanna, a lawyer representing Hobbs.
Now, Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County have filed for sanctions against Lake and her team. Both parties motioned for the sanctions on Monday morning, the day after Christmas.
"Before a single vote was counted in the 2022 general election, Kari Lake publicly stated that she would accept the results of the gubernatorial election only if she were the winning candidate," read a statement from the county.
"But she has not simply failed to publicly acknowledge the election results. Instead, she filed a groundless, seventy-page election contest lawsuit against the Governor-Elect, the Secretary of State, and Maricopa County and several of its elected officials and employees (but no other county or its employees), thereby dragging them and this Court into this frivolous pursuit."
The county's motion requests that Lake pays $25,050 in attorney fees, and Hobbs' motion demands another $36,990 in fees.
"Enough really is enough," read the county's conclusion. "It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one."
You can read Maricopa County's full motion below:
In response, Lake's attorneys are asking the courts to deny the request for sanctions, arguing that the plaintiffs shouldn't be punished for bringing "legitimate" claims about the election to court.
"Plaintiff’s claims were neither legally groundless nor were they brought in bad faith or for purposes of harassment as is required under Arizona law to justify sanctions," the response states.
More documents on Lake v. Hobbs et al. can be found here.
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