Last month, a New York jury found Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse as well as defamation, awarding E. Jean Carroll $5 million in damages. A second defamation trial, in which Carroll is seeking at least $10 million for further comments Trump made at his recent CNN town hall, is scheduled for January. Now, potential Trump running mate Kari Lake will also need to defend herself against defamation.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer announced his lawsuit on Thursday as an opinion contributor to The Arizona Republic, accusing Lake of spreading lies after losing the gubernatorial election. Richer, who pointed out that he is also a Republican, blasted Lake for mobilizing “millions of her followers” against him, unleashing “violent vitriol and other dire consequences.”
Topping Lake’s absurd sore-loser claims is her allegation that Richer printed 19-inch images on 20-inch ballots to ensure it couldn’t be tabulated, in an attempt to sabotage the election. Lake also insisted that Richer introduced 300,000 invalid ballots to “steal” the election. As Richer pointed out, even if he wanted to do such things, his position is unrelated to the printing of ballots on Election Day.
According to Richer, Lake’s actions have tarnished his reputation, causing him to lose friends and lifelong relationships. As he points out, “false statements that damage others distort the marketplace of ideas and harm others’ ability to exercise their own free speech rights.”
In addition to wishing to clear his own name, Richer noted the far-reaching effects of Lake’s garbage, citing his wife’s security concerns, a county election worker who now carries a firearm after being stalked for “stealing an election,” and a tabulation worker whose parents believe he’s a criminal simply for doing his job. Richer also pointed out that hundreds of law enforcement officers have been diverted to protecting our elections and thousands of election workers have resigned following “being harassed or worse, simply because they chose to help Americans vote.”
As Richer tweeted, he hoped for months that Lake’s defamation would stop, including after she got a new job. However, he then realized that “I AM the job” because Lake’s false attacks attracts campaign donations and opportunities. Richer’s defamation lawsuit represents the “most aggressive attempt to hold Lake and her allies accountable for election-related misinformation,” according to The Washington Post. Stay tuned.