Judge Orders AZ GOP To Pay $18,000 For Its Flimsy Election Fraud Suit

on August 28, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Arizona GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward acknowledges supporters as she arrives to give her concession speech at an election night event on August 28, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The Arizona Republican Party tried and failed to help ex-President Donald Trump steal the 2020 election-and now they get to shell out $18,000 for the pleasure.

Arizona state Judge John Hannah on Friday ordered the Arizona GOP and their attorneys to pay Secretary of State Katie Hobbs the $18,000 in legal fees that they had burned at taxpayers’ expense in its suit demanding an audit of Maricopa County’s ballots.

Hannah stated in his order that the Arizona GOP had “made no serious pre-filing effort to determine the validity of” their claims, which were based on Trump’s lies about election fraud and vote counting machines.

“‘Public mistrust’ is a political issue, not a legal or factual basis for litigation,” Hannah wrote.

The judge also asserted that the state Republican party had acted in bad faith with its lawsuit.

“Arizona law gives political parties a privileged position in the electoral process on which our self-government depends. The public has a right to expect the Arizona Republican Party to conduct itself respectfully when it participates in that process,” he wrote. “It has failed to do so in this case.”

Jack Wilenchik, one of the Arizona GOP’s lawyers in the case, told the Associated Press that the judge’s rejection of their “public mistrust” argument was “sorely disrespectful to the views of the many Americans whom I am proud to represent” and that the committee would be appealing the decision.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: