Arizona state House Rep. Mark Finchem and former state representative Anthony Kern have filed a defamation lawsuit against House Democratic Caucus Leader Charlene Fernandez. Their complaint, which lists all parties in their personal capacity, was submitted on Feb. 26 and referenced a Criminal Referral letter Fernandez and other Democrats sent to Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Jan. 12, stating both Finchem and Kern were present at the riot in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and “actively encouraged the mob, both before and during the attack on the capitol” and may have “engaged in insurrection and rebellion.”
The lawsuit states that by addressing Messrs. Rosen and Wray on official Arizona State Legislature letterhead, Fernandez (D-LD4) sought to represent her Criminal Referral letter as an official act of the Arizona State Legislature as she accused them of the “highest possible crimes against the Government of the United States.” They declare she took action beyond the scope of her legislative duties with no authorization to do so. Indeed, no resolution of either the House or the Senate, or any of their committees, authorized the Criminal Referral.
“We decided to begin the process of suing each and every member [of the House] who was on that list, who signed onto that letter.”
Rep. #MarkFinchem from Arizona about his plan to sue members of the Arizona House and Senate for defamation.
— Crossroads with Joshua Philipp (@crossroads_josh) February 27, 2021
According to the lawsuit, Fernandez was not in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, and therefore did not personally observe any of the activities addressed in the Criminal Referral letter.