Kari Lake Asks To Forgo Defense In Arizona Election Official's Defamation Lawsuit

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who brought the suit, called Lake's request a "complete and total surrender on liability."

Kari Lake, an election-denying Republican running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, indicated Tuesday she will not defend the comments at the heart of a defamation lawsuit brought by a top GOP election official.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer filed a lawsuit against Lake last year, alleging that she had falsely accused him of “intentionally sabotaging” the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election that she lost, leading to violent threats against him and his family.

Lake’s attorneys petitioned the court for a default judgment hearing, which would effectively bypass the process of defending her statements and skip forward to determining what damages are owed, if any.

Reacting to Tuesday’s filing on X, formerly Twitter, Richer cast the move as a “complete and total surrender on liability. Meaning it was always all B.S.”

Jared Davidson, an attorney at Protect Democracy, which is representing Richer, said Lake’s maneuver suggested she was unable to defend herself.

“Given an opportunity to back up her claims in court, she has instead conceded she has no defense — effectively admitting that she spread lies about Mr. Richer and did so with ‘actual malice,’” Davidson said in a statement released on Tuesday. “The only thing left to do now is to determine the amount of the damage done to Mr. Richer as a result of Defendants’ misconduct.”

Lake was defiant on social media, claiming in a lengthy post on X shared Tuesday that she’s the victim of a “weaponized” legal system and “political witch hunt,” while likening herself to former President Donald Trump.

She also claimed in a video shared on X that she had declined to participate in the lawsuit because it would “only serve to legitimize this perversion of our legal system.”

Lake, a devoted Trump ally, has repeatedly peddled election fraud lies about her failed 2022 gubernatorial bid as well as Trump’s 2020 loss.

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