Jeff DeWit, the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, has announced his resignation from his position following a demand from Kari Lake’s team. This comes after the release of a controversial leaked audio in which DeWit is allegedly heard attempting to “bribe” Lake and making veiled threats from “powerful people.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, DeWit acknowledged the authenticity of the audio, although he claimed it was “selectively edited.” He expressed more outrage towards Lake for recording their private conversation than for the content of the conversation itself.
DeWit insisted that his discussion was meant to provide perspective, not coercion, and that it was transparent. However, the audio recording clearly contradicts his claim that the conversation “never happened,” undermining his transparency argument. DeWit did not address the specific details of the recording, including the implied bribes and his own suggestion that he could face severe consequences if he exposed the “powerful people.”
Despite initially intending to fight for his position, DeWit ultimately chose to resign due to the ultimatum from Lake’s team, who threatened to release a 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,” he said, ultimately 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.”
Moreover, DeWit asserted that although he expressed remorse for his statements in the audio, he maintains that he was “manipulated” by Lake, who allegedly orchestrated the entire scenario to gain dominance over the state party. However, DeWit did not provide a clear explanation of how Lake deceived him into conveying these purported offers from influential individuals who oppose Lake’s Senate candidacy.
He added that he believes 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”:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement from Chairman @JeffDeWitAZ
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) January 24, 2024
The audio under discussion presents a confidential dialogue between DeWit and Lake, wherein DeWit essentially inquires about the conditions that would prompt Lake to temporarily halt her political aspirations.
The audio commences with Lake asserting, “They’re gonna have — try to have me murdered.” DeWit counters by bringing up reports regarding the cartel’s activities across 50 states.
The dialogue progresses as DeWit elucidates that influential individuals are opposed to Lake’s candidacy, which appears to irk her. She highlights that their dislike stems from the fact that they do not possess or manipulate her. DeWit, seemingly adopting a contrary viewpoint, reframes the narrative and argues that it is not about “control” but rather about “being on a team.”
“They want you to be on their team,” he said, to which Lake responds, “But if they’re pushing a globalist agenda, I can’t do that. So what do they want? What do they want me to do?”
DeWit — referring to “very powerful people who want to keep you out” somewhere “back east” — said they are “willing to put their money where their mouth is in a big way,” essentially implying a bribe.
Lake countered by highlighting that the motivation behind the actions of these influential figures is primarily aimed at undermining Trump, a move she deemed detrimental to the nation.
DeWit persisted in advocating for the demands put forth by these anonymous individuals, emphasizing that Lake should reciprocate their favors, as that is the modus operandi of the political landscape in Washington D.C. Ultimately, he inquired about the cost required to dissuade her from pursuing her political aspirations.
“They’re gonna have to fucking kill me to stop me,” she said. “Either they come around and try to work with me –” she continued before getting cut off.
“I’m not going to let these people back in D.C. tell me not to run. I’m not going to pause for two years. The battle is now. I’m offended by whoever these people are that they’re trying to buy me out,” she said, as DeWit told her she should be “honored,” as “very few people get this” treatment.
“Is there a number of which –” DeWit began, prompting Lake to finish his thought.
“I can be bought?” she asked.
“Well, it’s about you take a pause,” he said.
“No. No. $10 million, $20 million, 30, no no no. A billion — no. This is not about money. This is about our country. I think it’s disturbing,” she said.
“I am not going to let these people who hate our country tell me not to run. You should call them and tell them to get behind me. I can win, and they should get behind me,” Lake continued, describing these “powerful people” as “unAmerican” and “unethical.”
“Just it’s very powerful people that are willing to — they really want someone different,” DeWit pressed.
“I think you should go public with this,” Lake said, urging DeWit to show the world the corruption that goes on behind the scenes. DeWit immediately said “No, no, no, no,” before essentially suggesting that he would be killed if he did so: “Then I turn the key in my car” he said, making an explosion sound.
“Tell them I’m not flattered. … I’m offended that they don’t care about our country more. They don’t care about our country,” she said.
Based on the audio, DeWit explicitly stated that the discussion had “never occurred” prior to requesting Lake for a counteroffer once again.
“I can’t. I can’t be bought,” she said. “I can’t.”
Listen the the full audio below:
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) January 23, 2024