Kari Lake, the GOP Senate hopeful from Arizona, still contests her narrow loss in the 2022 Arizona governor’s race and proclaims herself the state’s “lawful governor.” The former television newscaster also baselessly disputes President Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat and says Joe Biden is an “illegitimate president.” Her lawyers have been sanctioned by the state supreme court court for making “false factual statements.”
But now she has found a defender in what might seem like an unlikely place: a law clinic at Arizona State University.
In August, some university donors and alumni were flummoxed to see the Arizona State clinic listed as “Counsel for Defendant Kari Lake” on a motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against her by a Republican election official. In the suit, Stephen Richer, recorder for Maricopa County, alleges that Lake falsely accused Richer of intentionally sabotaging the gubernatorial election to help her opponent, resulting in violent threats against Richer and his family. In its motion for dismissal, the university clinic argues that Richer’s suit is an attempt to squelch Lake’s free-speech rights.