A high-powered Democratic attorney who became a big name in the Trump-Russia controversy may get a hefty paycheck for battling Kari Lake in her recently tossed 2022 election lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of last month’s governor’s race.
Arizona Governor-elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County filed motions on Monday for sanctions against Lake and her attorneys, which may amount to nearly $700,000 in penalties to cover the attorneys’ fees and costs, according to an estimate from the AZ Law blog. Most of that money could go toward Marc Elias, who is well known as the lawyer who directed funding from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Democratic National Committee that went toward British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s now-discredited anti-Trump dossier.
Hobbs filed motions in her capacity as Arizona’s secretary of state, the top elections position in the state, and candidate. In the latter, she declared $56,585 in “definite” fees and expenses for last week’s trial, of which $35,762.50 is for Elias’ firm, the Elias Law Group. Another $20,822.50 was listed for the Perkins Coie law firm, which happens to be Elias’ former employer during the 2016 election.
The filing also describes estimated fees “for additional legal services in connection with the election contest,” earmarking about $457,032.50 for the Elias Law Group and $93,177.50 for Perkins Coie.
Lake, a Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump, sued Hobbs and Maricopa County after the results showed that she lost the November contest to Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes.
Maricopa County, which includes the capital of Phoenix and is Arizona’s most populous county, struggled with problems during the November 8 election, including printer and tabulation machine-related issues. This led to Lake’s suit claiming thousands of Republican voters were disenfranchised and argued “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County.”
Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson initially dismissed eight out of 10 claims in Lake’s lawsuit, but allowed two claims to proceed that had to do with allegations of intentional misconduct related to malfunctioning ballot printers and a failure to follow ballot chain-of-custody procedures. After a brief trial in Phoenix, the judge determined on Saturday that Lake and the witnesses she called to testify failed to make an adequate case, even after being granted limited ballot inspections. Lake vowed to appeal the ruling.
Attorneys for Maricopa County argued in their 16-page filing that Lake’s suit was “groundless” and “not made in good faith.” They also argued Lake attacked the court’s integrity after the lawsuit was dismissed, citing a tweet sharing a link to a Townhall column and highlighting a line that says, “Legal experts believe his decision was ghostwritten, they suspect top left-wing attorneys like Marc Elias emailed him [the judge] what to say.”
A few days ago I asked what conspiracy theory Kari Lake would offer for why she lost her election contest lawsuit. It is more insane than even I predicted. pic.twitter.com/8K6OIfSVcc
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 26, 2022
In response to that tweet, which appears to have been deleted, Elias remarked: “A few days ago I asked what conspiracy theory Kari Lake would offer for why she lost her election contest lawsuit. It is more insane than even I predicted.”
The Daily Wire reached out to Lake’s attorneys, Brian Blehm and Kurt Olsen, for comment on the requested sanctions.