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.