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Home High profile Kari Lake has decided to fully give in and give up: She won't defend her claims about the 2022 election being rigged in court, which a Maricopa County official sued her for

Kari Lake has decided to fully give in and give up: She won't defend her claims about the 2022 election being rigged in court, which a Maricopa County official sued her for

The Maricopa County Recorder sued Kari Lake for defamation after she accused him of sabotaging a lost election. However, Lake is now declining to defend these statements in court.

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Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, Kari Lake

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (AP Photo/Serkan Gurbuz), Kari Lake (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake's lawyers have confirmed that she will not defend her statements about the 2022 Arizona election being rigged in court, which the former news anchor lost. seeking a default judgment.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a registered Republican, filed the defamation lawsuit in June 2023, claiming that Lake and her co-defendants spread “egregious and harmful falsities to further their own agendas — and line their own pockets — at Richer’s expense.

Richer alleged that Lake's words had real-world consequences, including “threats of violence, and even death” against him and his family.

In early March, the Arizona Supreme Court refused to keep the lawsuit on hold, meaning the defamation case would move towards discovery and trial. The high court rejection came months after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Richer made “actionable defamation claim(s)” regarding “provably false” statements that a trial jury could determine to be “either true or false.

Lake claimed that Richer sabotaged vote tabulators in the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election she lost. She claimed Richer purposefully printing the “wrong image on the ballot” (one inch smaller) and claimed that “300,000 illegal ballots” with “with zero chain of custody” marred the election.

The trial judge ruled that Lake's words were no mere “imaginative expression or rhetorical hyperbole,” since ballot image size and the number of allegedly illegal ballots were matters that could be proven true or false.

On Tuesday, Lake and her attorneys motioned for a default judgment and an “accelerated damages hearing […] to adjudicate those matters which occupy less than five percent of the amended Complaint.

Lake’s attempt to explain why she didn’t bother contesting Richer’s claims rang hollow to those who understood the meaning of the ruling. While Lake claimed in a recorded statement that she didn’t want to legitimize the lawsuit, Chief Deputy Attorney General of Arizona Dan Barr remarked that the default judgment did exactly that.

More Law&Crime coverage: Hurry up, the 2024 election is coming and Dominion voting machines need to be banned, Kari Lake tells SCOTUS

“Someone should explain to Kari Lake that by not answering @stephen_richer’s complaint and having a default judgment entered against her, she has admitted to EVERYTHING in the complaint as a matter of law,” Barr said, explaining the upshot to Kari Lake. “She has conferred 100% credibility to Richer’s lawsuit.

In their court filing, Lake’s attorneys claimed that “defaulting” doesn’t amount to an admission.

“It is often said that defaulting admits the allegations in the operative complaint. This is a misnomer,” the defense wrote, before citing case law that says: “An entry of default serves as a judicial admission of all well-pleaded facts in the complaint. A party against whom default is entered, however, is not held to admit facts that are not well-pleaded or to admit conclusions of law.

The trial judge refused to dismiss Richer's lawsuit against Lake, stating that Richer has provided solid evidence to support his claim that any statements about ballot manipulation are false and defamatory.

Lake stated that the lawsuit is a politically motivated attack that everyone is aware of.

She commented that participating in the lawsuit would only validate the misuse of the legal system and allow interference in the upcoming election, so she will not be involved.

The lawsuit stemmed from alleged defamatory statements made by Lake about an election official tampering with an election she lost. She is now refusing to defend these statements in court, despite claiming to have told the truth.

However, Lake's attorneys expressed their desire to resolve the case before the upcoming primary and general elections.

Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County Recorder issued a response to the default judgment move asserting that Lake backed down because she was caught.

Richer stated that the defendants, after vigorously defending their falsehoods, ultimately conceded that their statements were indeed false. He also emphasized the negative impact on his family and reputation due to their actions.

Richer emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law and expressed anticipation for the damages phase of the case.

Jared Davidson, a lawyer representing Richer, characterized Lake's "surrender" as an acknowledgment that she spread lies about Richer with 'actual malice,' which is a high standard in a defamation case against a public official. This set a high standard for proving defamation against a public official. He noted that Lake's failure to assert the truth of her statements in court spoke volumes, and the focus now is on determining the financial repercussions for Lake, her campaign, and the Lake Fundraising Organization.

Davidson stated that the remaining task is to ascertain the extent of the damage caused to Richer as a result of the defendants' misconduct.

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