Kari Lake, Pulling a Giuliani, Concedes Liability for Defaming Election Official Stephen Richer; Wants to Go Straight to Damages (That Didn’t Work Well for Giuliani)

Stunning yet routine:

Kari Lake is asking the court to quickly issue a judgment and to decide how much she will pay Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer in the defamation case he brought against her, according to a filing in Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Richer sued Lake — who ran for governor in 2022 and is now running for U.S. Senate — for defamation last year, alleging that Lake made defamatory allegations that he had assisted in rigging the gubernatorial election against Lake. They are both Republicans.

Richer’s legal team is treating Lake’s filing, a motion for default judgment, as an admission of liability.

“She has decided she cannot defend herself in this case despite continuously saying she has evidence,” said Ben Berwick, counsel at Protect Democracy, among the firms representing Richer in the lawsuit.

Lake’s attorneys do not defend Lake’s claims about Richer in the filing, nor do they challenge any of Richer’s arguments about the facts. Instead, they ask the court for a quick hearing to decide damages.

After filing the document, Lake said in a video posted on X that Richer’s lawsuit against her was “lawfare,” and she wouldn’t be taking part in the lawsuit. It was unclear what she meant, and one of her attorneys, Jennifer Wright, told Votebeat to contact her communications team for additional comment….

Richer said in his complaint that these statements had caused harm to him and his family, including harassment that took a toll on his physical and mental health.

Lake is asking for medical records to support his damages claim, and specifics to support his allegation that her claims cost him Republican support from donors and others.

The defamation case was just about to enter the discovery phase ahead of trial, in which Lake would have been required to provide Richer’s attorneys with private statements she had made about her claims about Richer.

“Just the idea that Stephen, who is a committed public servant who has shown a real commitment to the integrity of elections in Arizona, would intentionally sabotage her election is absurd on its face,” Berwick said on Monday, before Lake’s filing. “Among other things, they are both Republicans.”

Share this: