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Kari Lake declines to defend her statements in a defamation case

via CBS

Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake, who has promoted election conspiracy theories, opted not to defend herself against a defamation lawsuit filed by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer over her false claims about the 2020 election.

Lake’s lawyers asked a judge to determine damages owed to Richer, with Richer calling it a capitulation after months of doubling down on lies.

“After months of doubling down and defending their lies across Arizona, in the media, and on social media, when push came to shove, the Defendants decided to completely back down and concede that their lies were just that: lies,” Richer said.

“Because of their actions, my family and I have faced an endless barrage of threats — including calls for our execution — I have lost close personal relationships, and I have had my reputation irreparably damaged,” he added. “I have said from the beginning that no one is above the rule of law and today further validates that belief.”

As a former governor candidate, Lake’s rhetoric alienated some voters and her advisers urged her to tone it down for her Senate bid, in which she has received GOP establishment support.

“Kari didn’t surrender” in the case, “she simply cut-to-the-chase, demanding a hearing in 30 days, and proof of how her words (under the First Amendment) caused damages to Richer,” a Lake spokesperson stated.

“By participating in this lawsuit, it would only serve to legitimize this perversion of our legal system,” Lake said.

“So I won’t be taking part” in the suit, Lake said.

However, Lake continued alleging fraud and said she would keep contesting her 2022 loss, fueling concerns about how it may impact her chances in November’s critical Senate race to replace Kyrsten Sinema.

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