Politics

Arizona Supreme Court Allows Complaints Against Kari Lake’s Former Lawyers to Proceed Amid Election Dispute

A panel from the Arizona Supreme Court has approved the state bar to move forward with complaints against the former attorneys of Kari Lake, the ex-TV anchor and Republican candidate in Arizona’s gubernatorial race in November 2022.

Despite legal challenges, Lake lost to Katie Hobbs by around 17,000 votes, as reported by Newsweek on Wednesday, December 13, 2023.

The court panel found “probable cause” for complaints against Bryan Blehm and Kurt Olsen, who represented Lake in a case contesting the election results, and Andrew Parker, who represented Lake and Mark Finchem in a separate case related to voting machines in Arizona.

Lake’s legal challenges included an attempt to invalidate the certified election results, citing fraud in Maricopa County—the state’s largest county. However, all her challenges were ultimately dismissed.

Blehm and Olsen, who represented her in the election results case, now face complaints related to a claim asserting that over 35,000 fraudulent ballots were inserted into the 2022 election.

In May 2023, the Arizona Supreme Court had already imposed sanctions against them for perpetuating this false claim in court. Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, in the sanctions order, emphasized the lack of evidence to support the specific claim of 35,563 fraudulently placed ballots.

Additionally, Blehm faces a separate complaint regarding a social media post where he claimed that a Supreme Court Task Force on Countering Disinformation, led by Chief Justice Brutinel, was formed as part of a CIA-induced effort to conceal cases exposing electoral fraud. Blehm has denied any wrongdoing, explaining that his tweet aimed to convey that the Arizona judiciary was misled by national security entities, The Arizona Republic reported.

The complaint against Olsen and Parker revolves around false statements made in court, such as the assertion that Arizona does not use paper ballots and that voting systems in Maricopa County are connected to the Internet. An investigation commissioned by the Arizona Senate found these claims to be false.

This development follows the Attorney Discipline Probable Cause Committee’s authorization for the state bar to prepare official complaints against Blehm and Olsen. This represents the third stage in the attorney disciplinary process in Arizona.

Potential consequences for the lawyers could range from formal hearings overseen by a disciplinary judge to resolution through a disciplinary agreement.

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