The State Bar of Arizona (SBA) is proceeding with two counts against Kari Lake’s attorney Bryan Blehm for referencing in a brief that 35,563 ballots were unaccounted for due to chain of custody problems at Maricopa County’s third-party early ballot processor, Runbeck Election Services, and for criticizing the Arizona judiciary. Representing himself, Blehm filed a 94-page Answer to the SBA’s charges on January 25.
In Count 1, the SBA accused Blehm of “misleading” the Arizona Supreme Court. The first half of the SBA’s case against Blehm consists of claiming that he lied when he stated in a pleading that both parties in Lake’s election challenge agreed that there was a discrepancy of 35,563 ballots unaccounted for due to chain of custody problems at Runbeck. Blehm asserted in the Lake brief, “The record indisputably reflects at least 35,563 Election Day early ballots, for which there is no record of delivery to Runbeck, were added at Runbeck….”
Blehm explained in his Answer to the SBA that he believed defendant Governor Katie Hobbs, who Lake sued over her loss in the gubernatorial race, was in agreement about the lack of a chain of custody for the 35,563 ballots, since Hobbs’ pleadings reflected two different numbers for the number of ballots that arrived at Runbeck versus the number that were allegedly then sent to Maricopa County for tabulation.
“Thus, Respondent and his co-counsel held that as an undisputed fact and did nothing more than present the mathematical computation based on the exhibits submitted by defendants in their response brief,” he said. “Counsel simply relied on the defense exhibits to provide a mathematical computation of at least 35,563 ballot affidavit envelopes that have no complete record of delivery to the vendor and no record or retrieval from drop boxes. Defendants did not refute the mathematical accuracy of that computation.”
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