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Top Arizona Republican Resigns After Bombshell Kari Lake Audio Leak

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Top Arizona Republican Resigns After Bombshell Kari Lake Audio

Jeff DeWit stepped down as the Arizona Republican Party chair on Wednesday, just 24 hours after a leaked audio recording revealed him offering Kari Lake a tempting job or financial incentive to exit the political arena.

The recording captures DeWit suggesting that influential figures would provide Lake with a job or money if she refrained from political involvement for two years.

In his resignation statement, DeWit claimed that Lake had set him up by recording a private conversation. Initially determined to fight for his position, DeWit changed course after receiving an ultimatum from Lake’s team: resign today or face the release of a more damaging recording.

“This morning I was determined to fight for my position,” said DeWit, 51. “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.”

He expressed hope that his resignation would put an end to Lake’s attacks against him.

DeWit served as the chief operating officer for Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, was nominated for a senior role in NASA by the Trump administration, and took over the Arizona Republican Party in January of the preceding year.

The leaked audio, originating from a conversation in early March 2023, sent shockwaves through Republican circles. At that time, Lake was contemplating a Senate run, and shortly after DeWit’s approach, she publicly alleged that powerful forces tried to impede her candidacy without revealing their identities.

Arizona talk show host Garret Lewis identified DeWit as the chairman on Monday. The leaked audio disclosed how DeWit made his offer during a conversation at Lake’s home in early March the previous year, emphasizing the existence of powerful entities working against her.

In his resignation statement, DeWit insisted that he had merely suggested postponing Lake’s plans for two years to enable a future run for governor. He admitted saying regrettable things but accused Lake of employing “deceptive tactics” and releasing a “selectively edited” recording.

Lake’s senior advisers, Carolina Wren and Garrett, denied any underhand tactics, stating that no threats or blackmailing occurred from the Kari Lake campaign towards DeWit. They called for DeWit to apologize to the people of Arizona, asserting that the audio speaks for itself.

Lake, known for echoing Trump’s election denialism on Fox News, announced her run in October, becoming a national figure. The newly revealed 10-minute audio clip includes DeWit requesting secrecy and emphasizing the importance of fundraising for political success. Despite DeWit’s offer, Lake remained steadfast in her commitment to stand against such influential pressures, declaring it a cause worth fighting for.

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