A week after Arizona Democrat gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs blamed the recent burglary of her campaign office on “misinformation” spread by her Republican rival Kari Lake, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed that an illegal immigrant from Portugal has been arrested for the break-in.
ICE officials told Fox News that 36-year-old Daniel Mota Dos Reis came to the United States as a registered student in 2018 and is now violating “the terms of his admission.”
According to an ICE spokesperson, Mota is “currently at-large for administrative immigration violations for failing to maintain his status as a registered student at an academic institution.”
Mota was arrested last Thursday and charged in connection to the Oct. 24 break-in. He was released on bond, and an immigration detainer was issued, ICE told Fox.
UPDATE: The suspect accused of breaking into Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs' campaign headquarters has been identified as Daniel Mota Dos Reis. https://t.co/kMP45RGwze pic.twitter.com/ZtIKjk1hiO
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) October 27, 2022
On Oct. 26, Hobbs, who is currently Arizona’s Secretary of State, shared a statement on Twitter from her campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, which linked the break-in to “dangerous misinformation” spread by Lake and her allies.
“Let’s be clear: For nearly two years, Kari Lake and her allies have been spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats against anyone they see fit. The threats against Arizonans attempting to exercise their constitutional rights and their attacks on elected officials are the direct result of a concerted campaign of lies and intimidation,” DeMont said at the time. “It won’t work,” she added. “Katie is running for governor to ensure the safety and security of every Arizona family. She will win this race.”
On October 27, Hobbs refused to answer a reporter’s question about the accusation.
AFTER accusing my team of coordinating a Watergate style break-in of her office, Katie Hobbs has now flip-flopped and DOES NOT want to talk about the crime
This comes AFTER arrest was made and NO political motivation confirmed. pic.twitter.com/lb7YAwl3eN
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 27, 2022
Lake, on the other hand, when asked about the Hobbs campaign’s accusation, was eager to respond.
“That is absolutely absurd. Are you guys buying that?” Lake asked the assemble media. “Obviously, you don’t want to cover the real story today, which is we’re eleven points up in the polls, and you want to distract the people, she added. “And I can’t believe that she would blame my amazing people and blame me for something like that. I don’t even know where her campaign office is. I’m assuming it’s in a basement somewhere because that’s where she’s been campaigning.”
The former news anchor lambasted the press for covering what she called a “B.S. story.”
“You guys are despicable for falling into that trap,” she chastised. “You drag the American people through so many B.S. stories like Jussie Smollett, and you’re letting a campaign —a woman who’s been running a terrible campaign—direct you to a story like this?”
Lake said everyone knows Hobbs is running a bad campaign and is desperate “so she’s trying to point the finger at me.”
“It’s despicable. It doesn’t shock me because what we’ve seen from her is probably the worst campaigning in the history of campaigns,” she concluded.
The Media just couldn’t help but ask about ridiculous allegations made by @katiehobbs yesterday
Here’s my response: pic.twitter.com/eQRTJD2vYT
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 27, 2022
There does not appear to be any evidence that the burglary was motivated by politics, and it wasn’t even Mota’s first break-in last month, according to Fox.
Mota was reportedly named as a suspect after an investigator recognized him in the surveillance video as the same person who was arrested earlier for a different burglary.
Police: Officer recognized the person shown in news reports of the break-in at the Hobbs office was the same person arrested for a separate unrelated commercial burglary. The officer noticed Daniel Mota Dos Reis was still in jail and was able to re-arrest him. @azfamily #azgov pic.twitter.com/A80bsJtMB1
— Cody Lillich (@CodyLillich) October 27, 2022
The suspect was still in jail but was scheduled to be released.
Authorities said the officer contacted the jail and was able to re-arrest Mota, who is charged with one count of third-degree burglary for the campaign headquarters break-in on Oct. 24.
ICE learned about Mota’s immigration status after his arrest by the Phoenix Police Department, but O’Keefe said that Mota “had bonded out of Maricopa County Sheriff’s custody prior to a detainer being issued.”
“At the time the officer conducted records checks, the individual was not identified as being amenable to removal therefore a detainer was not lodged. The officer continued an investigation into the subject and found additional evidence that identified the individual as being in violation of his immigration status,” a spokesperson for ICE said.
Lake has made her tough stance on illegal immigration a cornerstone of her campaign, while Hobbs has been more focused on left-wing issues like abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.
Thursday night, the Daily Wire reported that Hobbs’ child therapist husband profits off of gender reassignment surgery on children. Lake ripped the local Arizona media for missing this “bombshell” revelation.
💣 BOMBSHELL 💣@KatieHobbs is an avid supporter of gender reassignment surgery on children in Arizona.
Now we know why: Her husband profits off it as a therapist "treating" minors who want to transition.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 4, 2022
Meanwhile, calls are growing in Arizona for Hobbs to recuse herself from overseeing the the elections in Arizona.
Lake and her team have repeatedly called for the Democrat to recuse herself from her Secretary of State duties, and now two former Arizona Secretary of State office holders—one Democrat and one Republican—have joined the chorus.
According to Time Magazine, Democrat Richard Mahoney—who served as AZ’s 14th Secretary of State from 1991 to 1995—has called for Hobbs to step aside.
“I think it would be wise if the secretary of state seconded responsibility for ministerial oversight to either the attorney general or the Maricopa County recorder,” Mahoney explained. “The secretary of state’s role is really ministerial. It is responsible for the canvass and the certification,” Mahoney noted. “But if this is very close, it will be contested at some level. There’ll be activities in superior court by both sides. It would be better, as a matter of appearance, that the attorney general oversee it,” he added.
Former Secretary of State, Republican Ken Bennett agreed with Mahoney’s take: “She should recuse herself from the official acts that she would normally perform as secretary and let a deputy secretary or somebody else take care of those,” Bennett said.
NEW: Two former Arizona Secretaries of State, a Democrat and a Republican, tell me Katie Hobbs should recuse herself from election-related duties to remove even an appearance of a conflict in an election that could be a powder keg.
My latest for @TIME:https://t.co/6bPQ0wftAU
— Eric Cortellessa (@EricCortellessa) November 2, 2022