This just in: Arizona GOP Chair Jeff DeWitt has resigned following allegations that he attempted to bribe Kari Lake not to run for Senate.
Yesterday, the Daily Mail leaked an audio clip where DeWitt can be heard apparently offering Kari Lake a financial incentive to stay out of the Senate race.
“Very powerful people,” DeWitt says are willing to give Lake “an incredibly opportunity” if she stays out “for two years.”
JUST IN: Arizona GOP Chair Jeff DeWit resigns after leaked audio reveals he tried bribing Kari Lake into not running for Senate.
There should be a much bigger punishment besides a forced resignation.
Despite resigning, DeWit bizarrely blasted the audio footage, claiming it was… pic.twitter.com/H30e40xj4S
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) January 24, 2024
DeWitt claims Kari Lake set him up and that the “selectively edited audio recording” was a “deceptive tactic.”
Here’s his full resignation statement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement from Chairman @JeffDeWitAZ
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) January 24, 2024
Kari Lake had previously called for DeWitt’s resignation following the bribery scandal.
NBC News has more details:
The chairman of the Arizona GOP resigned Wednesday after the release of an audiotape on which he offered Kari Lake, a top Trump ally and a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, lucrative job opportunities to take a two-year pause from politics.
“He’s got to resign. We can’t have someone who is corrupt and compromised running the Republican Party,” Lake told NBC News on Tuesday, referring to state chair Jeff DeWit.
DeWit did not respond to a request for comment but posted a letter on X saying he was resigning “as Lake requested” — while also claiming her people had threatened to release another incriminating tape if he didn’t comply.
“This morning, I was determined to fight for my position. However, a few hours ago I received an ultimatum from Lake’s team: resign or face the release of a new, more damaging recording,” his letter said. “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,” he added.
Lake advisers Caroline Wren and Garrett Ventry said in a statement on X that the “tape speaks for itself” and that “No one from the Kari Lake campaign threatened or blackmailed DeWit.”
Lake posted on X that she’d be answering questions about the “bribery scandal” on the social media platform Rumble at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.
In the already released audio of the March 2023 conversation between DeWit and Lake posted online by Garret Lewis, a conservative talk show host in Arizona, the chair can be heard telling Lake, “There are very powerful people that want to keep you out.”
“They’re willing to put their money where their mouth is in a very big way,” DeWit continued, calling it “an incredible opportunity.”
KTAR News also reported:
Arizona Republican Party Chair Jeff DeWit resigned Wednesday after audio was leaked of him apparently offering Kari Lake a financial incentive to stay out of the 2024 U.S. Senate race.
DeWit’s departure comes as The Daily Mail, a British news organization, released audio on Tuesday from the March 2023 conversation between the two. DeWit, in announcing his resignation, said the clip was a “deceptive tactic” and a “selectively edited audio recording.”
“I said things I regret, but I realize when hearing Lake’s recording that I was set up,” DeWit said in a statement.
“I believe she orchestrated this entire situation to have control over the state party and it is obvious from the recording that she crafted her performance responses with the knowledge that she was recording it, intending to use this recording later to portray herself as a hero in her own story.”
Lake told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday, before DeWit stepped down, that the conversation took place at her house while she was packing for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. DeWit said the conversation happened while he was employing Lake for his private company.
“Since our conversation where I advised Lake to postpone her campaign and aim for the governor’s position in two years, she has been on a mission to destroy me,” DeWit said. “It was a suggestion made in good faith, believing it could benefit both her future prospects and the party’s overall strategy.”