Ariz. GOP Chair Jeff DeWit Resigns Over Leaked Kari Lake Audio

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Jeff DeWit is a businessman and politician who previously served as the Arizona state treasurer. He also served as chair for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in Arizona. Following nomination by Trump, he went on to serve as the chief financial officer of NASA from 2017 to 2020, when he resigned to again join Trump’s 2020 campaign. A year ago, with Kari Lake’s endorsement, he was elected as the state GOP chair, succeeding Kelli Ward.

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What a difference a year makes. On Wednesday, DeWit resigned after audio was leaked of him apparently offering Kari Lake a financial incentive to stay out of the 2024 U.S. Senate race. The Daily Mail on Tuesday released audio from a March 2023 conversation between Lake and DeWit. 

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In his resignation statement, DeWit claimed that the clip was a “deceptive tactic” and a “selectively edited audio recording.”

He wrote:

I said things I regret, but I realized when hearing Lake’s recording that I was set up. 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.

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. It was a suggestion made in good faith, believing it could benefit both her future prospects and the party’s overall strategy.

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 damaging recording. 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, allowing me to return to the business sector, a field I find much more logical and prefer over politics.

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For her part, 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 employed Lake at his private company.

Lake admitted she’s had a strained relationship with DeWit since the conversation occurred. She said that she called on him to resign before his announcement. “You don’t put somebody in a position with a conversation like that,” she said. “That’s disrespectful, it’s unethical, and so I’ve had a very terse relationship with him. I thought he should have resigned a long time ago.”

After the audio was released on Tuesday night by Daily Mail, Lake said, “He’s gotta resign. We can’t have somebody who is corrupt and compromised running the Republican Party.” 

Lake also confirmed with Just the News that the tape is authentic, and the Daily Mail confirmed its veracity with two sources who also identified the other speaker as DeWit.

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I would love to believe that this type of thing is rare. It seems like a plot from a political drama. Sadly, Hollywood isn’t inventive enough to dream this type of thing up, but luckily for them real life supplies the plot.

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