NATIONAL NEWS

Arizona Republican election official sues Kari Lake for defamation

Jun 22, 2023, 5:31 PM | Updated: 5:54 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — A top Republican election official in Arizona filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against Kari Lake, who falsely claims she lost the 2022 race for governor because of fraud.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said he’s faced “violent vitriol and other dire consequences” because of lies spread by Lake, including death threats and the loss of friendships.

“Rather than accept political defeat, rather than get a new job, she has sought to undermine confidence in our elections and has mobilized millions of her followers against me,” Richer wrote in an op-ed in The Arizona Republic.

Lake is a former Phoenix television news anchor who quickly built an lawsuit challenging the results.

Despite her losses in court, she continues to claim that Richer and other Maricopa County officials interfered in the election to prevent her from winning.

A spokesperson for Lake did not immediately respond to a request for comment. She is openly considering a run for U.S. Senate and is a leading contender to be Trump’s running mate in his 2024 presidential campaign.

The suit, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, names Lake, her campaign and her political fundraising group as defendants. In addition to unspecified monetary damages, Richer is seeking a court order declaring Lake’s statements false and requiring her to delete them from social media.

U.S. Supreme Court precedent sets a high bar for defamation cases brought by public officials like Richer. But Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News Channel over false claims about its vote-counting equipment resulted in damaging disclosures of internal Fox messages and a $787.5 billion settlement.

Richer’s lawyers wrote in their complaint that Lake has the right to criticize Richer but not to spread lies that bring him harm.

The suit takes issue with two claims in particular — that Richer intentionally had 19-inch ballot images printed on 20-inch paper, causing counting problems, and that he injected 300,000 bogus ballots. It details nearly three dozen times she made the claims publicly on social media or at rallies and news conferences.

The suit says Richer has faced death threats, including one that was prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, and has spent thousands of dollars on home security. He said he and his wife have altered their routines and law enforcement has stepped up patrols around their home and workplaces.

“She has gone far outside of the bounds of protected free speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment and the Arizona Constitution,” Richer wrote in The Republic.

National News

Associated Press

Detroit plans to reign in solar power on vacant lots throughout the city

DETROIT (AP) — Patricia Kobylski remembers when there were lots of people living in her eastside Detroit neighborhood. There aren’t as many anymore — and haven’t been for a long time. “Right now, on our side of the street there are probably only 10 houses. Should be 50, 60,” the 78-year-old Kobylski said Monday after […]

21 minutes ago

Associated Press

President Joe Biden ‘appalled’ by violence during pro-Palestinian protest at Los Angeles synagogue

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Opponents of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza staged a protest that evolved into brawling and one arrest outside a Los Angeles synagogue over the weekend in violence condemned by President Joe Biden and the city’s mayor, who called for more police patrols. Fighting between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and counterprotesters erupted Sunday outside […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Endangered House candidates grapple with how closely to run with Biden and Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola readies for a tough reelection contest in Alaska, she’s talking fish. For Rep. Mark Levin, who is trying to keep his California district blue, the big topic is sand. And as Republican Rep. Mike Garcia campaigns in another competitive California district, he’s criticizing a state-levied gas tax. […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Man dies after being struck by roller coaster in restricted area of Ohio theme park

MASON, Ohio (AP) — A man who was struck by a steel roller coaster at an Ohio theme park last week after he entered a restricted area to retrieve his lost keys has died from his injuries. Arntanaro Nelson, 38, of Wilmington, entered a fenced area at Kings Island on Wednesday night, according to a […]

4 hours ago

boeing starliner...

Frank Sumrall

Boeing Starliner’s return to Earth delayed indefinitely as it troubleshoots glitches

It could be another two weeks before the astronauts on the Boeing Starliner can return to Earth, extending a planned nine-day mission to more than a month.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Midwest flooding collapses rail bridge, forces evacuations and kills at least 1

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) — A railroad bridge collapsed during flooding in the Midwestern U.S. that has led to water rescues, evacuations and at least one death and has brought additional misery during a vast and stubborn heat wave. The bridge connecting North Sioux City, South Dakota, with Sioux City, Iowa, collapsed into the […]

14 hours ago

Arizona Republican election official sues Kari Lake for defamation