On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg delivered a harsh blow to Stacey Abrams, the failed 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate, when he ordered her organization Fair Fight Action to pay back $230,000 in legal fees incurred by the state of Georgia for false claims made about the election process.
During the 2018 election cycle, Abrams had publicly accused Gov. Brian Kemp of stealing the election and engaging in voter suppression tactics that tipped the scales against her candidacy in violation of his constitutional duties as Secretary of State and subsequent Governor of Georgia. The accusations were widely reported on at the time by outlets such as The Washington Free Beacon.
Abrams founded the group after losing to then-secretary of state Kemp, who she claimed used his position to disenfranchise minority voters in the lead-up to the election. A federal judge in late September ruled against Fair Fight Action on all counts following a four-year legal battle, saying the group provided no direct evidence that Georgia voters struggled to vote in the election.
Fair Fight Action must repay $192,628.85 in transcription fees and $38,674.86 in copying costs that Georgia incurred in defending itself against the group’s lawsuit, according to a bill of costs submitted Tuesday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Fair Fight Action’s finances came under scrutiny in October after Politico revealed the group doled out $9.4 million in legal fees to a law firm run by Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, a close friend of Abrams and the chairwoman of her failed 2018 and 2022 gubernatorial bids. The group spent more than $25 million on legal fees in 2019 and 2020, the bulk of which went toward its failed Georgia lawsuit.
Abrams was adamant that there was foul play involved in her defeat, but these allegations have since been debunked through thorough investigations conducted by multiple organizations and media outlets, resulting in her group Fair Fight Action being found liable under Georgia's Election Law and having to reimburse $230,000 worth of legal fees owed by the state.
The news is a major setback for Abrams who has been attempting to revive her political career ever since she lost her bid for Governor two years ago. She has continued to make unsubstantiated claims about alleged voting irregularities during that election cycle while also highlighting issues with Georgia’s voting system which she believes lead to her electoral loss and attempted to use public pressure to force state officials into taking action on what she sees as systemic problems affecting democracy in Georgia.
Unfortunately for Abrams, and many others, the court decision this week shows no evidence of any impropriety from Gov. Kemp or any other state official that would have affected the outcome of the election and instead serves as an example of how baseless claims can be costly both financially and politically for those making them.
And if you thought that she's learned her lesson by now, you're wrong. Abrams clearly has not learned her lesson and said she “will run again” during an interview with show host Drew Barrymore.
“So, what’s next? Are you going to run again?” Barrymore said. “Do we get to look forward to this and galvanize again?”
“I will likely run again,” Abrams replied.
Yes!” Barrymore yelled.
Barrymore seemed to fan the flame by saying she would be up against “some tough men who don’t always play fair,”
“Well, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If it doesn’t work, you try again,” Abrams said.
WATCH - Perpetual loser Stacey Abrams tells Drew Barrymore and her entire masked audience she "will run again!" pic.twitter.com/tphPpv6kWp
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) January 9, 2023