Rudy Giuliani was recently ordered to pay $148 million in punitive and compensatory damages for defaming two election workers in Georgia, now it appears Kari Lake could be following in his footsteps.

The former TV news anchor/2022 gubernatorial loser just had her motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against her by an election worker in Arizona denied by a judge.

Lake is currently being sued by Stephen Richer, one of Maricopa County’s top elections officials (who also happens to be a Republican BTW), after she accused him of tampering with the 2022 election results.

Richer’s lawsuit asks the court to compel Lake, her campaign, and a campaign-related fund to scrub all false and defamatory statements about him from their websites and social media pages.

The suit specifically points to two false claims the MAGA queen continues to make despite having zero evidence to support them: 1. That Richer “sabotaged” electronic ballot printers, and 2. That Richer inserted 300,000 fake ballots into the Maricopa County ballot count.

Speaking to reporters this week, Richer said, “She’s allowed to insult me, criticize my abilities, criticize my hair. She is not allowed to say that I did something that was criminally unlawful, something that has been adjudicated by multiple courts as absolutely, positively not happening.”

In court, Lake’s lawyer, Jennifer Wright, argued that her client’s remarks were “based on provable facts” and that Richer “cannot prove actual malice” on Lake’s part.

(Fact check: What Lake has claimed is not, in fact, based on “proveable facts.” And that fact that she’s still attacking him over a year later sure seems like malice to us.)

“Largely, the facts are true,” Wright continued, adding that the whole 2022 election in Arizona was a “debacle.”

(Fact check: The facts are not true. Also, the 2022 election in Arizona was not a debacle. It was run properly and Lake lost fair and square to Democrat Katie Hobbs by 17,000 votes.)

In a 13-page decision released yesterday, Superior Court Judge Jay Adleman sided with Richer, ruling that Lake’s repeated remarks were, indeed, defamatory and could be proved as false before a jury, based on evidence shown to the court.

“Defendant Lake’s statements regarding improper 19-inch ballots and/or the existence of 300,000 fraudulent ballots may be discerned by a factfinder as either true or false when considered in the light of any available evidence. These statements constitute assertions of fact that are actionable under prevailing Arizona law,” Adleman wrote in his opinion.

So what happens next?

Well, Lake, who’s currently campaigning for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, could appeal the ruling. But considering she’s had virtually every single one of her election challenges and appeals thrown out in court, it seems highly unlikely she’d win this one.

More likely the case will move toward trial.

Lake will be required to provide whatever alleged evidence she has to prove “the facts are true,” as her lawyer put it, a jury will be selected, and a trial will be scheduled, probably around the same time she’s running for U.S. Senate, should she win her party’s nomination.

Speaking at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest in Phoenix over the weekend, Lake said, “I’ve had the courage to speak out and talk about these disgusting elections. We have touched the topic we’re not supposed to talk about.”

Lake’s right about one thing. She has touched on a topic she’s not supposed to talk about. As she learned in court this week, defamation has consequences.

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