ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County’s Stephen Richer: ‘We now have a judgment saying that Kari Lake lied about me’

Mar 27, 2024, 8:24 AM | Updated: 9:05 am

PHOENIX – Does Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer feel vindicated after Kari Lake requested a default judgment in his defamation lawsuit against her?

“Absolutely,” Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday. “We now have a judgment saying that Kari Lake lied about me, lied to the world, lied to Arizona, lied about the 2022 election. And so that will be entered in a court of law, and now we’ll move on to assess just how much it damaged me, and we’re going to say it damaged me a lot.”

Richer sued Lake in June 2023 over her repeated false and harmful statements about his work on the 2022 election. Lake, who is running for U.S. Senate this year, was the Republican nominee for governor in 2022 and lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Why did Kari Lake request a default judgment in defamation lawsuit?

A judge rejected Lake’s bid to dismiss the suit in December. Truth is a defense against a defamation claim, but rather than going to trial to present evidence that might support her allegations against Richer, Lake requested the default judgment Tuesday, asking for a jury to decide damages in the case.

A Lake official issued the following statement to KTAR News on Tuesday: “Kari maintains she has always been truthful. She will not play the lawfare game. Just like they went after President Trump, they’re now targeting Kari Lake. She will continue to fight for Arizonans.”

Stephen Richer questions Kari Lake’s legal strategy

Richer said he has no problem with Lake comparing herself to the former president in this situation.

“She keeps saying that this is like the Fox News case, or this is like Rudy Giuliani’s case, or this is like Donald Trump’s case,” he said. “Well, all of those wound up being north of $50 million, so we’re fine with those comparisons.”

Richer, who is an attorney, said he doesn’t understand Lake’s legal and political strategy.

“I would have counseled her long ago to stop lying, so I don’t have any great insight into her mind. … I don’t know why she does this, but her political calculations haven’t figured into what we’re doing, which is putting an end to these defamatory remarks and starting the process to clear my good name and to correct the record on the 2022 election,” he said.

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Maricopa County’s Stephen Richer: ‘We now have a judgment saying that Kari Lake lied about me’