Right-wing media figures are targeting Maricopa County lawyer Tom Liddy following the publication of a video in which he accuses a person associated with defeated Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake of threatening him.
Some of the conservatives going after Liddy, a lifelong Republican, have advised the Lake campaign, including former Trump top strategist Steve Bannon, Turning Point Action’s Tyler Bowyer, and top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump, Caroline Wren.
Conservative lawyer and Newsmax contributor Jenna Ellis, who worked on Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election, posted the video on Friday, which includes part of a conversation between Liddy and a lawyer for the Republican National Committee who the Washington Post identified as Benjamin Mehr.
In the video excerpt, Liddy seemingly paraphrases an earlier part of the conversation, saying to Mehr: “You sound like you’re threatening me.”
“I’m definitely not threatening you, and I promise that –” Mehr responded.
“If I don’t get these answers to you quickly, you’re not going to be able to tell the crazy people that I’ve been helpful,” Liddy said in return.
Shortly after Ellis sent her tweet, an official Twitter account for Lake’s campaign reposted the video. Bowyer, who had spread early conspiracy theories about Maricopa voting machines on election day, posted a screenshot of the video that evening as well. The next day, Wren reposted the screenshot, accusing Liddy of “vulgar language and blatant threats” against Mehr.
On Monday, Wren appeared on Bannon’s War Room podcast to discuss the video and the broader effort from the Lake campaign to sow doubt about the election results. Wren described Liddy’s “disgusting handling and vulgar language of the way he treated Kari Lake volunteers and attorneys in our war room.”
At one point during her appearance Wren says, “We showed y'all and put out the --” then appears to stop herself and claims “someone had leaked out a video” of the phone call with Liddy.
Conspiracy website Infowars covered the video, writing in its headline that Liddy “berates and stonewalls” the Lake campaign.
Host of Conservative Daily, Joe Oltmann, amplified a Truth Social post that included the video, and the commentary “Transparency is a myth,” adding that Liddy’s “corruption is being exposed.” Oltmann has a history of violent rhetoric, including recently calling for mass armed protests in Arizona.
According to the Post, the “Lake campaign did not respond to a request for the full video,” and “county officials said they were blindsided that the conversation had been recorded and then posted publicly with the names of only one side bleeped out.”
Liddy’s concern about the risks that “crazy people” could pose to him or other Maricopa officials comes on the heels of escalating threats against election officials and poll workers in the run-up to the midterms. Although many of the worst fears didn’t come to pass, at least 160 people associated with administering elections have been harassed or assaulted from January 2020 to September of this year, according to data from Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative.
In 2020, Liddy represented Maricopa in Trump’s unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the county’s election results, a culmination of the conspiracy theory known as “Sharpiegate.” He is the son of G. Gordon Liddy, architect of the Watergate break-in that ultimately brought down President Richard Nixon.