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Arizona GOP Chair Jeff DeWit resigns after release of Kari Lake audio

‘A few hours ago, I received an ultimatum from Lake’s team: resign today or face the release of a new, more damaging recording,’ DeWit said

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Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit steps into an elevator at Trump Tower in New York.

In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit steps into an elevator at Trump Tower in New York. Jeff DeWit resigned as Arizona GOP Chair after release of Kari Lake audio.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jeff DeWit announced his resignation following the release of audio of DeWit trying to persuade Kari Lake to take a step back from politics.

The leaked audio recording, obtained by the Daily Mail, allegedly reveals DeWit trying to convince Lake to stay out of the Arizona Senate race.

He announced his decision to resign Wednesday in a press release that stated, “This morning, I was determined to fight for my position. 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.”

DeWit continued, saying he is “unsure” of what the other audio recording may contain, but “considering our numerous past open conversations as friends, I have decided not to take the risk.”

The press release issued by DeWit said further, “I am 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.”

The Deseret News has not been able to verify the authenticity of the audio recording allegedly leaked to the Daily Mail.

Why is Kari Lake calling for Jeff DeWit’s resignation?

The Independent reported that in the audio at the center of his resignation DeWit tells Lake that GOP leaders wondered if anyone could find “any companies out there or something that could just put her on the payroll to keep her out” of the 2024 race.

The Daily Mail also shared the audio recording, where DeWit says to Lake, “There are very powerful people who want to keep you out.”

DeWit is also heard saying, “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’s response is heard as, “This is about defeating Trump and I think that’s a bad, bad thing for our country.”

Later in the audio recording, DeWit says, “Just say, is there a number at which ...”

Lake then appears to cut in, saying, “I can be bought? That’s what it’s about.”

DeWit continues, “You can take a pause for a couple of years. You can go right back to what you’re doing.”

Lake allegedly responds by saying she wouldn’t do it for a billion dollars and emphasizes, “This is not about money, it’s about our country.”

The Hill reported that in response to the audio recording surfacing, on Tuesday Lake called on DeWit to resign.

“He’s gotta resign. We can’t have somebody who is corrupt and compromised running the Republican Party,” Lake told a reporter at former President Donald Trump’s New Hampshire primary victory party.