Kari Lake’s Week of “Big Liability,” “Worst Case Scenario,” “Uphill Climb” In Senate Bid

Friday, March 29th, 2024

ARIZONA -–  This week, Arizona and national Republicans have expressed frustration, yet again, about Kari Lake’s campaign after she asked the “U.S. Supreme Court to endorse a conspiracy theory” and attempted to evade discovery in the defamation case against her.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Republicans are warning that Kari Lake’s power hungry quest to stay in the “limelight” “will result in another defeat” as Lake “can’t be trusted in anything she says or does.”

On Tuesday, Kari Lake balked at the “prospect of turning over information” in the defamation case against her and her nonprofit filed by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, raising questions for Arizonans about what she is hiding. The news “came Tuesday as the case entered a discovery process, a behind-the-scenes phase where both sides exchange information — which can sometimes include emails, text messages and recordings — in preparation for trial.”

Reports since Lake’s “surprise court filing” raised questions about why Lake may be avoiding “the discovery phase – the process during which parties exchange potentially relevant evidence, including emails and other documents in their possession” given that in other cases “information obtained in discovery has led to humiliating public disclosures.

Yesterday, NBC reported Arizona Republicans are expressing frustration as Lake has “rejected the premise that she needed to change,” suggesting “she says one thing one day and then acts completely counter to that the next” while she“quadruple[s] down on ultra MAGA.” 

Read more:

  • MSNBC: The only person in this scenario who’s actually engaged in lawfare is Lake, which is why judges have sanctioned her lawyers for lobbing the baseless legal claims in the first place. Her legal retreat does highlight an inconvenient truth for Team Lake, though: some of the most damning criticism of her has come from members of her own party.
  • Arizona Pollster Mike Noble: “With todays news out of #AZ regarding Maricopa County Recorder, Stephen Ritcher’s Defamation case against #GOP front-runner, Kari Lake, in the #AZSEN contest – this creates a big liability if she moves on to the General Election for Republicans hopes to take back the Senate.” 
  • Barry Markson, KTAR legal analyst: “Did Kari lake know it was false? Well, she did because courts were telling her it was false. And then she still did it. And this is where I think Kari made a mistake. I think she’s hoping that she wasn’t going to have to sit through discovery now, she wasn’t going to be deposed and she wasn’t going to have to turn over her texts, and emails, and recordings. I think she’s going to have to because it’s going to go to, Joe as you’re asking, are there texts and emails with her staff where she’s telling them to keep going after Richer even though she knows it’s false [… ] Are there conversations recorded with Stephen Richer or other Republicans where she’s talking about how she’s going after him to raise money… “
  • Arizona Republic: Judge says Kari Lake conceded defamation suit; discovery could still proceed on damages.A Maricopa County judge said former gubernatorial and current U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake lost “all rights to litigate the merit” of an ongoing defamation case when she forfeited her ability to defend herself in court on Tuesday…But Adleman’s order suggests she may still have to turn over information to Richer’s attorneys that could be used against her in the damages process…Lake maintains her statements were true, even though she is unwilling to defend them in court.”
  • The Independent: Kari Lake won’t fight defamation lawsuit brought by election official.Kari Lake, the US Senate candidate in Arizona who lost her 2022 bid for governor thanks in part to her refusal to untie herself from far-right conspiracy theories, seems unwilling to defend those same conspiracies under oath… But questions about her past-and-present embrace of election denialism continue to haunt her…”
  • The Guardian: Kari Lake won’t contest claims she defamed Arizona election official. “Lake’s filing came right before the case entered the discovery phase – the process during which parties exchange potentially relevant evidence, including emails and other documents in their possession. In other defamation cases, information obtained in discovery has led to humiliating public disclosures, including revelations that key Fox News talent knew claims about the election being stolen were false.” 
  • Arizona Mirror: Kari Lake gives up and won’t defend herself in Stephen Richer’s defamation lawsuit. “Lake even doubled down on her claims in the video, saying that the suit was a continued attempt to interfere with the 2024 electionLake’s statements in the video are a sharp turn from a post on social media just a couple of months ago that she was looking forward to the discovery of evidence in the case. [Phoenix personal injury lawyer Tom] Ryan thinks that the discovery process, in which both sides would have to provide information pertinent to the case to the other side, including private communications like text messages between Lake and others, is exactly why she and her lawyers chose to default.”

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