Judge Squashes Bogus Lawsuit From Paul Gosar In Another MAGA Loss

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A lawsuit against a former Arizona Democratic state legislator-turned-Biden administration official over her concerns regarding certain Arizona Republicans’ connections to last year’s Trump-inspired attack on the Capitol has been dismissed. The lawsuit, from plaintiffs including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), alleged that Charlene Fernandez was guilty of defamation over a letter to federal law enforcement requesting an investigation into Gosar and others because of their connections to the events of January 6. Fernandez wasn’t the only signer of the letter to federal authorities, but she was singled out in the legal proceedings. Now, Yuma County Superior Court Judge Pro-Tem Levi Gunderson has concluded that Fernandez’s actions fell within her First Amendment rights.

Although free speech rights don’t automatically discount claims of defamation, Gunderson noted that “when speech involves a matter of public concern, the balance changes significantly… The storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 is a matter of great public concern.” Other targets of the original request to federal authorities for an investigation included then-Republican state Reps. Anthony Kern and Mark Finchem, both of whom were in D.C. as the riot at the Capitol unfolded and both of whom were also plaintiffs in this case. (Kern is no longer in office.) Gosar was, like other members of Congress, inside the Capitol for the scheduled joint Congressional session when the riot began, but he and fellow Arizona Republican Congressman Andy Biggs helped lead the charge of false claims the election was rigged.

Gunderson, the judge who ruled on this matter, concluded the “Jan. 12th letter goes to the heart of free speech and the right to petition the government in connection with matters of great public concern… Defendant had the right to express her concerns, both as an individual and as a state legislator… Defendant had the right to petition the government, just as her constituents had the right to petition her.” In other riot-related news, a second member of the violent far-right group known as the Oath Keepers has now pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in connection to the Capitol riot, making it even more ridiculous to claim that what happened that day wasn’t actually all that serious. People involved in the breach of the Capitol had prepared for violence. Brian Ulrich, the Oath Keepers member who newly pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, sent messages about topics including his readiness for so-called “civil war,” and it wasn’t just talk — he purchased tactical gear, a recon backpack, and related items. Evidently, Ulrich was informed by someone else involved in the group that others would have firearms available.