How Kari Lake Spins Lies About Her Election Trials to Create Propaganda

UPDATED on 5/20 & 5/23 following the close of trial and upon the issuance of the judge’s ruling are below:

Watching the first day of testimony in Lake’s second election contest trial on signature verification, I started out scratching my head and laughing at the testimony, because I was viewing it as an attorney who aims to WIN cases. All Lake’s team has done so far is proven her own case is nonsense and used her own witnesses to clumsily DISPROVE her case.

I realized I was looking at the testimony all wrong: I needed to listen as a propagandist and fundraiser targeting conspiracy delusionists who ALREADY believe the election was stolen. It then became clear that Lake’s attorneys were carefully eliciting testimony that could be used out of context and as isolated allegations to support Lake’s narrative; they aren’t trying to WIN the case, they are trying to generate grist for propaganda mill which they can claim came out as explosive revelations at trial, and that they can claim to have been PROVEN in court. They are looking to fundraise for the NEXT election and keep the conspiracy delusion of stolen elections alive. Looked at from this perspective, the testimony the Lake team is eliciting makes perfect sense.

I can’t believe it took me so long to recognize the simple fact that Lake is NOT trying to win these cases: she’s merely developing a record of assertions (which she will call FACTS), which she can cite out of context, that sound suspicious and supports her narrative. She will NEVER stop claiming the election was rigged and corrupt – regardless of what the courts say.

Just like Trump. Facts be damned.

She will cherry-pick little damning-sounding details that are perfectly explainable, but that sound suspicious unless challenged and fact-checked, which in the context of her propaganda and lies to her followers, they will NOT be.

This is actually a rather novel sophisticated misuse of the judicial process that our legal system of ethics is quite unprepared to address. Her cases may have been brought totally in bad faith and with no expectation of prevailing, but little or nothing overtly unethical is done at trial. Lake’s long news experience has given her a very sophisticated understanding of how to pick such allegations and assertions that are wildly inaccurate but sound plausible and wicked to her base of deluded rubes who will fund her campaigns going forward on grievance alone.

Lake is certainly a worthy acolyte of Donald Trump: she has mastered a method of abusing judicial processes that even Trump hasn’t fully mastered, and that our Courts are almost defenseless against. Maybe she will get a VP nod from Trump based on this skillset and her obvious appeal to his base?

UPDATE 5/20:

Now that the case has rested, let’s take a look at some examples of how Lake is using the trial and testimony from it to continue to spread lies and disinformation about the election. A brief caveat here, I don’t know what Lake is saying via her personal Twitter since she long ago blocked me, and I don’t really care or make a distinction between her official account and her authorized ‘war room’.

Setting a False Narrative:

This is really the key claim to arise from this trial to try to discredit the election: 70K ballots should be held invalid because the signatures on them were verified in less than 3 seconds. Here Lake actually says ‘per ballot’ – which she and her flying monkeys often do not, giving the impression that ALL 70K were verified in just 3 seconds, total. Regardless, there are several pieces of disinformation here to unpack:

  • Lake claims this alleged rate of verification “does not meet the standards set by Arizona law”. This is misleading because that is a legal conclusion the court will make; it is merely the contestant’s allegation. It sounds quite unreasonable to ‘verify’ a signature in under 3 seconds to the layperson, which is why this is merely disinformation for public consumption.
  • Lake’s claim of a rate of ‘less than 3 seconds’ for verification – if actually true and established – is likely irrelevant to her contest. There was no evidence as to what ultimately became of those ballots other than passing through verification in that time frame. This is merely a cherrypicked data point that is being misused to mislead her followers into believing something untoward but unreasonable sounding occurred.
  • Lake’s claim of under 3 seconds is far from established by the testimony at trial: that opinion testimony was given at trial, whether the judge will accept it as proven is still quite unclear and from any objective perspective, quite unlikely.
  • Lake’s implication that signature verification is done to ‘a ballot’ is even wrong. Signature verification is actually done on an ENCLOSURE ENVELOPE, not a ballot. While this is a fine distinction, it is an important elision, as we do not know at this point in ballot tallying who a vote is for, or even if there is a valid vote in the relevant race on such a enclosed ballot. There is no way to quantify the effect any of these alleged 70K ballots could have affected the election. How do county officials arrange to affect an election this way, or even have the intent to affect it? They can’t, and the contest statute requires such scienter by the county official.

As you can see, by focusing on a single factoid like this from the trial testimony and pulling it out of the legal and elections procedure overall context, Lake is merely spreading more malarky among her followers to discredit our elections.

Drawing Unproven Legal Conclusions:

Lake often takes legal arguments like this from her case and just treats them as having been established. The application of a case precedent to the law and facts of her case is something the court and finder of fact does. By putting out her legal theories as proven in this way she is merely propagandizing her base – there is no other purpose in this case since the find of fact in this case is the judge. Were this a jury trial, doing this during trial or deliberations would be a different kettle of fish altogether.

Attacking Objective Reporting:

This is a good example of attacking objective coverage of the testimony in the press and the kind of mischaracterization of the testimony to which I refer: The Republic (what Lake calls here the Repugnant) questions Lake’s ‘experts’ bias, and Lake attacks and claims that the witness ‘proved in a court of law’ disenfranchisement – which he most certainly did not do.

Moving the Goalposts:

A classic maneuver of disinformation is to shift around the goalposts. Here is an example of this effort by Lake. The judge was very clear that her case required a showing that the County did not follow the law regarding signature verification – nothing about ‘bad ballots’ (how would you know? they are sealed!) being passed through. If the judge did require ‘bad ballots’ to be proven, Lake would be in even a worse procedural posture than she already is, BTW.

Here’s another example of her shifting the goalposts:

Lake pretty much admits hereby that the entire elections process, by its very nature, cannot satisfy her. There is no level of ballot verification that can possibly satisfy her and her flying monkeys – simply because she didn’t win. If she HAD won, does anyone think she would be trying so hard to undermine and discredit the elections process at each and every step?

Blatantly Fundraising:

Even as closing arguments are occurring, she’s begging her followers for money. This is clearly all about the opportunity and manufacturing an excuse to pass the hat. She’s not even coy about it.

UPDATE 5/23:

Even after the court has ruled against Lake in her latest trial, Lake is not deterred. She immediately held a press conference at which she continued to aggressively push her lies about the election, completely undeterred by court rulings against her. She continues to assert that she presented evidence she did not present, and proved things at trial that she did not prove:

She continues to assert as facts disproven and discredited theories on how the Republican vote was intentionally suppressed during the 2022 election, calling her own party’s officials “buffoons”, and   “criminals and crooks”.

 

Any reporters who dare point out the real facts are personally attacked, even to the point of questioning their patriotism, as Lake does here with local reporter Brahm Resnik.

Updated Summary:

There are numerous other examples of how Lake is misusing and distorting the record of the trial in real-time to mislead her followers, attack the press, and raise money through her public disinformation campaign. I’ve simply used a few recent tweets to show how she operates. This trial was ultimately merely another sophisticated attempt to create more controversy and disinformation to keep Lake in the headlines, raise funds, and prepare her followers to support her next bid for office – which she will likely lose, fail to concede, contest, and spin conspiracy delusions about. Lake is blazing a trail for others to emulate in the future, and it seems to be working for her.

This is a new political trajectory and strategy for a candidate: let’s hope it leads to nowhere good for Lake ultimately because it has rocketed Lake to national prominence among the MAGA faithful. She will likely make a bid for the US Senate or the Vice Presidency on the strength of her lies, which might seem like a pretty good ride to potential emulators, which is a very bad thing for our democratic system of government.


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3 thoughts on “How Kari Lake Spins Lies About Her Election Trials to Create Propaganda”

  1. So using Kari Lake logic, if Maricopa County used the exact same voting system standards in Lake’s Republican primary with Robson, it would be clear Lake did not win that primary.

  2. If that is indeed what her attorneys are doing, someone needs to file a bar discipline complaint for knowingly and intentionally misusing the judicial system and violating their duty of candor to the tribunal. Arizona taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for Lake’s propaganda.

    • Unfortunately there really isn’t a good way to prove that, since the attorneys are just eliciting testimony, while it is the client and her minions that are using it to spread disinformation. The attorneys may know that there if no merit to the case and that their questions are merely pretextual to create the basis for disinformation, but there isn’t a good way to actually prove their state of mind. On the face of things, they are just representing the clients with the available evidence and witnesses. The ethical rules are really not equipped to address this kind of abuse of process.

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