Nobody likes a bully, and yet some people relish playing such a role. Here in Arizona, perhaps no person has taken on that persona quite like Kris Mayes. When she began her political career with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Mayes quickly gained a reputation for bullying other people around, but since becoming Arizona’s Attorney General (AG) in January 2023, she has taken it to a whole other level.

Within months of occupying the AG office, Mayes began using her post to target and investigate the very people and entities she is constitutionally obligated to defend. First in her crosshairs was the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), a state agency she is legally obligated to represent and provide legal advice to. But because she wants to score political points with her radical environmental allies, she decided to threaten legal action against ADWR unless they provide her with documentation showing that the agency is in compliance with its water management responsibilities.

Mayes then turned around a few weeks later and went after the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program at the Department of Education. In a public tirade, she falsely claimed that the budget agreement that protected universal school choice would bankrupt the state, despite the expenditure data showing that the ESA program actually saves the state money. When that didn’t stop the Republican budget bill from being signed by Governor Hobbs, Mayes doubled down on her ESA assault by threatening legal action against her own client, the Arizona Department of Education, over the program.

And now that she has had more time to get comfortable in office, Mayes is discovering new and creative ways to abuse her power, including collusion and the usage of dirty tactics to target political opponents.

Mayes Colluded with Cochise County Attorney to Pursue Indictments Over the Election Certification

Last year, the State Bar began investigating Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre for a possible violation of attorney-client privilege with his clients the Cochise County Board of Supervisors. And it proved to be quite revealing.

According to a letter recently submitted as evidence to the State Bar, McIntyre appears to have colluded with Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and AG Mayes against Cochise County Supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby. In the letter, McIntyre asked Mayes to retract an opinion set by her predecessor, Mark Brnovich, on expanded hand counts. But this request was made while McIntyre’s clients were actively appealing to be able to complete those hand counts. That’s a big no-no.

But did Kris Mayes stop him? No. Several months later, Mayes withdrew Brnovich’s opinion as requested by McIntyre. And then, in November of last year, she secured indictments against Judd and Crosby for delaying certification of the 2022 elections results—charging them with felonies for election interference and conspiracy. That’s an outrageous abuse of power, but Mayes’ overreach didn’t stop there.

Mayes Used Dirty Tactics to Secure Indictments Against Alternative Slate of Electors

Last month, an Arizona grand jury indicted a slate of alternate electors for the 2020 election and hit them with charges of conspiracy, fraud, and forgery. But according to a new report from Politico, these indictments were unprecedented and “unusually aggressive.”

And who do you think was leading the probe? Kris Mayes.

One witness described the questioning as “intense” and having “exceeded the limited scope that prosecutors had publicly acknowledged.” On top of that, some of those indicted were promised by prosecutors that they were not the subject of the investigation nor any charges.

But that proved to be a lie. Just ask one of President Trump’s lawyers, Jenna Ellis, for example. According to the report, Mayes’ prosecutors asked Ellis to appear for a “free-talk interview.” And a prosecutor in Mayes’ office even indicated in a letter that Ellis was not the target of the State’s investigation. But after a follow-up letter to arrange an interview reiterated as much, Ellis was indicted just four days later. And the same thing happened to another of Trump’s attorneys, Christina Bobb.

That’s low…and dirty. And you would think that our own corporate media, like the Arizona Republic, would be on top of such a revealing news story, but no. The Republic is so infatuated with Mayes that it would rather write glowing puff pieces about her while national news outlets and other alternative media blow the whistle on such government overreach.

The reality is that all of this should be more than enough to conduct a deep dive into the actions of AG Kris Mayes. And while the legislature may have started an investigation into her prosecutorial conduct, our court system and the Bar Association need to hold her accountable as well. All of this stinks, and if our legal system is really concerned about setting precedent and protecting norms, then these types of actions by a prosecutor need to be stopped.

Let’s start with Kris Mayes.

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