ARIZONA NEWS

Kari Lake asks court for default judgment in Stephen Richer’s defamation lawsuit

Mar 26, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: 9:38 pm

A Tuesday court filing from Kari Lake requested a jury to decide damages in the ongoing defamation ...

A Tuesday court filing from Kari Lake requested a jury to decide damages in the ongoing defamation case filed by Stephen Richer. (Photos by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images, left, AP Photo/Matt York, File, right,)

(Photos by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images, left, AP Photo/Matt York, File, right,)

PHOENIX — Arizona U.S. Senate hopeful Kari Lake said she wants to move past an ongoing defamation case and focus on the election season. She has tried to have Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s case against her dismissed, but it has moved forward.

Lake requested a default judgment hearing on Tuesday, requesting that a jury decide damages.

She also requested an order to set a scheduled hearing within five court days to “secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of this matter before the forthcoming primary and general elections,” according to court documents.

Richer responded to her court filing by making fun of her on social media.

However, Lake accused him of weaponizing the legal system in her own social media post.

“We’ve all seen how they do it to President Trump, and here in Arizona, they’re doing the same thing to me,” Lake said.

Lake said she would not be taking part in the lawsuit because she wanted to focus on campaigning for her senatorial run.

She wants Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat, which will be vacant after her term ends. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb is another Republican running for the seat.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego is also competing for the spot.

“We have seven months to save our country,” Lake said in her video. “We can’t be distracted by what’s truly important.”

What’s the story behind the ongoing defamation case?

Richer filed the lawsuit in June 2023 to fight back against two claims Lake made dozens of times on social media.

Lake slung two main accusations against Richer. She said he injected 300,000 bogus ballots and said he ensured 19-inch ballot images were printed on 20-inch paper, causing counting problems.

Richer said he has faced death threats as a result of her claims. He is seeking for her statements to be proven false and for her to delete them.

Richer is also seeking unspecified monetary damages. He said he liked the fact that Lake likened her legal troubles to those of Rudy Giuliani and former President Donald Trump.

Among various other debts, Trump currently owes $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll, a writer who sued him for defamation.

“I’m happy to start investigation on damages,” Richer said. “Reminder that she says this case looks a lot like Rudy’s and Trump’s — I’m fine with those final dollar figures.”

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Kari Lake asks court for default judgment in Stephen Richer’s defamation lawsuit