Arizona Republican Party chair resigns after bribery allegations in Carey Lake, says she threatened him

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Jeff DeWitt, candidate for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, speaks during the Arizona Republican Party’s legal meeting at Dream City Church on Saturday, January 28, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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The chairman of the Arizona Republican Party resigned Wednesday after an audiotape was released in which he can be heard presenting Lake CareyHe is a prominent Trump ally and Republican candidate for US Senate in Arizona, lucrative business opportunities to take a two-year hiatus from politics.

“He has to resign. We can’t have a corrupt, compromising person running the Republican Party,” Lake told NBC News on Tuesday, referring to the state’s president. Jeff DeWitt.

DeWit did not respond to a request for comment but posted a Letter on X Saying he would resign “as Lake requested” — while also claiming he threatened to release another incriminating tape if he did not step down.

“This morning I was determined to fight for my position. But a few hours ago I received an ultimatum from the Lake team: resign or face the release of a new, more damaging recording,” his statement read. “I’m not really sure of its content, but given our past several open conversations as friends, I’ve decided not to risk it. I will resign at Lake’s request,” he added.

A Lake spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on DeWit’s allegations. Lake posted on X that she will be answering questions about the “bribery scandal” on the social media platform Rumble at 8 pm ET on Wednesday.

In the already released audio recording of the March 2023 conversation between DeWit and Lake Published online By Jarrett Lewis, a conservative talk show host in Arizona, Chair can be heard telling Lake: “There are very powerful people who want to keep you out.” “They want to put their money where their mouth is in a very big way,” DeWitt continued, calling it an “amazing opportunity.”

Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Carrie Lake announces her candidacy for U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-AZ) seat in JetSet Magazine on October 10, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Rebecca Noble | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“They” are never identified, unlike “the people in the East.” “This is crazy. They should want me. I’m a great candidate, people love me,” Lake said.

The conversation between Lake and DeWitt, whom Lake supported for board chairman, came months later Lost gubernatorial race 20222 To Democrat Katie Hobbs. Presidential 2020 Election denierLake confirmed that she won the gubernatorial election and File a lawsuit against To reverse the results. It was the suit It was rejected In May of last year.

DeWitt is a former Arizona state treasurer who led Trump’s campaign in Arizona in 2016 and was Chief Operating Officer From his 2020 election campaign.

In the conversation with Lake, DeWit can be heard saying that the Anonymous “want you to stay out for two years. … They want you to be on their team.”

“I’m not going to let these people in D.C. tell me not to run,” Lake told him.

DeWit then asks, “Is there a number where I can be…” “I can be bought?” he asks puzzledly. “no.”

“It’s about getting Trump out. It’s about bringing in DeSantis,” she told DeWit, “and I’m with Trump.”

DeWit pushed her to at least set a price.

“I’m actually hoping you’ll make me a great counteroffer. Give me a counteroffer,” he said.

“I can’t be bought,” she replied.

DeWit said in its letter that Lake released a “selectively edited audio recording of our private conversation” that she had while working for DeWit. “I really thought I was offering a helpful perspective to someone I consider a friend,” he wrote.

DeWitt said Lake has made it her “mission to destroy me” since the conversation in which he recommended she end her Senate campaign to focus on running again for governor. Lake officially She announced her campaign Senate in October.

It’s not clear why the audio recording was released now, but the Arizona Republican Party is holding its annual meeting in Phoenix on Saturday.

National Republican Senate Committee Chairman Steve Daines said he knew nothing about the recording.

“I just saw the report, but I didn’t listen to it,” the Montana senator said.

Asked about DeWitt’s claim that people “back east” want her to stay out of the race, Daines said: “Look, I think Carrie Lake is a great candidate, and she’s going to win this race in Arizona.”

This article originally appeared on www.cnbc.com

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