By Jack Phillips
Retired Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz said he wasn’t part of the legal team that represented Kari Lake and Mark Finchem in connection to a lawsuit that was filed in early 2022 and later rejected.
In 2022, U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi tossed filings by Lake and fellow Republican Mark Finchem. Months later, the same judge ruled that the Republican candidates’ attorneys were liable for legal fees incurred by Maricopa County.
In a new filing this week, however, Dershowitz wrote that he was only a consultant and not a participant in the election-related challenge.
“I was asked to provide my consultation only on constitutional issues in lawsuits involving voting machines,” he said in a declaration that was submitted by his lawyer, Jack Wilenchik. “My role was expressly limited to the potential for future abuses based on the unwillingness of voting machine companies to disclose the inner workings of their machines,’’ he continued.
The famed defense lawyer said he “helped to develop the following argument: When a private company is hired by the government to perform a quintessential government function such as vote counting, it cannot refuse to provide relevant information about the workings of its machines on the grounds of business secrets.
“I believed and still believe that this is a profoundly important issue that goes to the heart of future voting integrity,” Dershowitz said, adding that he is not an expert on voting machines. He was providing expertise in constitutional issues, the filing said, while he disputed reports saying he was the lead attorney in the case.
“Not only am I not Lake’s lead attorney, I have never met her and have no retainer agreement with her,” Dershowitz said. “My consulting agreement is with one of the lawyers.”
While imposing sanctions several weeks ago, Tuchi said Lake, Finchem, and their lawyers never provided sufficient allegations or evidence. Lake and Finchem asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn his dismissal of the case.
Sanctions are necessary because it would “make clear that the Court will not condone litigants” and allege that the two candidates were promoting “false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation,” Tuchi, an Obama appointee, wrote in his order. Both Finchem’s and Lake’s campaigns should pay Maricopa County’s fees because the county had to dedicate resources and time to defend the lawsuit.