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Arizona Election Denier Sanctioned For ‘Groundless’ Lawsuit

Failed Arizona secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem has been sanctioned by a judge who declared his lawsuit challenging November’s election results “groundless and not brought in good faith.”

Finchem, a Donald Trump-backed election denier who has yet to concede his defeat, in December filed a lawsuit seeking a new election. He alleged misconduct in Adrian Fontes’ win by more than 120,200 votes to become secretary of state.

Finchem’s suit claimed now-Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) wrongly flagged his Twitter account for misinformation, and didn’t seek proper approval for voting machines and software. He also called out Hobbs for not recusing herself from overseeing the election despite running for governor.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Iyer Julian tossed out the lawsuit last year, saying the allegations didn’t constitute misconduct “sufficient to survive dismissal.”

Subsequently, Fontes filed a motion seeking to sanction Finchem and his lawyer Daniel McCauley III, alleging they failed to present any evidence to back their claims of voter fraud. Hobbs joined the motion.

The judge last week, ordered Finchem and McCauley to pay the legal fees of Hobbs and Finchem, but declined to impose additional penalties.

State law says sanctions should only be applied in “rare cases,” Julian noted, but this case qualifies.

“None of contestant Finchem’s allegations, even if true, would have changed the vote count enough to overcome the 120,000 votes he needed to affect the result of this election,” Julian wrote. “The court finds that this lawsuit was groundless and not brought in good faith.”

The judge also noted Finchem canceled a request to review ballots, “suggesting that he had no expectation that an inspection would yield a favorable outcome.”

“This demonstrates that Finchem challenged his election loss despite knowing that his claims regarding misconduct and procedural irregularities were insufficient under the law to sustain the contest,” Julian added.

Finchem, in a statement on Twitter following the ruling, continued lying and said the judge “should be removed from the bench for her abuse of judicial authority.”

“Judge Julian is punishing me for daring to assert my [First] Amendment protections, which constitutionally guarantee separation of powers, and has shredded statutory protection for contestants to challenge suspicious election results,” Finchem wrote.

During his campaign, Finchem said he wouldn’t have certified President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win in Arizona. He also met with former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to discuss the fake electors’ scheme aimed at overturning Biden’s victory.

Another Arizona election denier, failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, also has lost her legal challenge seeking to toss out the results of her 2022 defeat and continues to push false claims that the election was stolen from her.

Lake has been floated as a potential Senate candidate and a potential running mate for Trump in 2024.