The chair of the Arizona Republican Party allegedly tried to bribe former gubernatorial candidate and current U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake to take a temporary break from politics, according to a bombshell exclusive report from the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail obtained an audio recording of a March 2023 conversation allegedly between Jeff DeWit and Lake, who was “publicly mulling a run for Senate” at the time. On the audio, DeWit can be heard trying to convince Lake to accept money for remaining out of politics for two years. “There are very powerful people who want to keep you out,” DeWit said.
An audio recording obtained by DailyMail.com reveals the extraordinary moment when what appears to be Arizona’s top Republican official tried to bribe populist firebrand Kari Lake not to run in the state’s Senate race.
Jeff DeWit, 51, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, can be heard asking Lake, a close ally of Donald Trump, to name her price to stay out of politics for two years.
‘There are very powerful people who want to keep you out,’ he tells her in a conversation recorded at the start of March last year.
DeWit tells Lake, 54, one of the most public faces of the former president’s MAGA movement and a woman frequently spoken of as a 2024 vice-presidential pick, that he thinks Trump will lose and it is time to make way for someone else.
After asking her not to mention the conversation to anyone, he makes his first offer.
Lake balked at the suggestion, saying that it was about “defeating Trump” and refused to go along with the plot.
‘So the ask I got today from back east was: “Is there any companies out there or something that could just put her on the payroll to keep her out?’
Lake reacts with indignation.
‘This is about defeating Trump and I think that’s a bad, bad thing for our country,’ she said.
Later, DeWit, who was chief operating officer on the Trump’s 2020 campaign frames it differently.
‘Just say, is there a number at which….’ he begins.
Lake cut in: ‘I can be bought? That’s what it’s about.’
‘You can take a pause for a couple of years. You can go right back to what you’re doing.’
Lake repeatedly rebuffs him and says she wouldn’t do it for a billion dollars.
‘This is not about money, it’s about our country,’ she says.
If the allegations are true, it raises several questions. For starters, who are the “very powerful people” who pushed DeWit make such an offer to Lake? And why? It sounds as if they did not want her to seek another political office in the same election season in which Trump is running. Perhaps this was a way to diminish Trump’s influence over the base? It is also possible that the people he references in the audio believe that a MAGA candidate like Lake could not win the election and would have rather put up someone else to run for Senate.
It’s also clear that both DeWit and Lake are afraid of violent personal consequences. Near the beginning of the audio, Lake says, “They’re gonna try to have me murdered.” As Lake is turning him down and tells him he should go public with the offer DeWit says, “No, no, no… I turn my key in my car and it goes [boom].”
Lake spoke about the incident almost immediately after, during her CPAC 2023 speech, which was given on March 3, 2023. She said, in part:
They called me before and said, “I gotta talk to you in person. This can’t be done over the phone….”
They came to my door and they tried to bribe me out of getting out of politics. This really happened. I’m telling you this because this is how disgusting politics is. A mom who runs for office, and they’re afraid of me? They tried to bribe me with a job title, with a huge salary, a position on a board.
So this person standing before me was sent at the request of some powerful people back east. They want me out of politics.
Regardless of the who and the why, this audio provides us a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes among some of the most powerful movers and shakers in American politics. The notion that this group would attempt to shape elections by bribing people is not surprising, but it should be infuriating – especially for Republican voters. It demonstrates that the powers-that-be within the party do not give a rip what you, the voter, thinks. They want to decide which candidates you will be allowed to choose from in each election season.
If the “very powerful people back east” don’t want Lake to run for Senate, they could have simply run someone against her in the primaries and tried their level best to convince Arizona’s Republican voters to vote for this person. Instead, they resorted to shady backroom deals that should make any right-leaning voter’s stomach turn. This was an effort to undermine the will of the people – nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps some accountability is in order.