Finchem, Kern claim in lawsuit Fernandez defamed them

From left are Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, former Rep. Anthony Kern, and Rep. Charlen Fernandez, D-Yuma

By Nathan Brown | Arizona Capitol Times  

A current and a former state House member are suing Rep. Charlene Fernandez, saying the Democrat defamed them when she asked the FBI to investigate their connections to the deadly Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol.

Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, and former Rep. Anthony Kern, also a Republican, allege in Yuma County Superior Court  Fernandez “baselessly accused Plaintiffs of the highest possible crimes against the Government of the United States.”

“The malicious purpose of Defendant’s action was to chill debate, not encourage it; to shut down any discussion of election fraud in the 2020 Presidential election and of the larger question of election integrity in general; and, if possible, to criminally punish Plaintiffs for exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully demonstrate and petition the Government for redress of grievances,” the complaint says. 

Fernandez, D-Yuma, and the rest of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses signed a letter in early January to FBI Director Christopher Wray and acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen asking for help determining the roles of Finchem, Kern and Republican U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar in the riot.

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