On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action to pay over $200,000 to the state of Georgia to cover legal costs associated with a fictitious lawsuit alleging that Gov. Brian Kemp (R) stole the 2018 gubernatorial election.
After losing to Kemp, who was the secretary of state at the time, Abrams started the organization because she believed he had disenfranchised minority votes in the run-up to the election. After a four-year legal battle, a federal judge rejected Fair Fight Action’s arguments in late September, stating they lacked concrete proof that Georgia voters had trouble casting ballots.
According to a bill of costs filed on Tuesday by the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Fair Fight Action is required to pay back $192,628.85 in transcribing fees and $38,674.86 in copying expenses that Georgia incurred while fighting the group’s lawsuit.
The order was welcomed as a victory for the state’s taxpayers and voters by Brad Raffensberger, the Republican secretary of state for Georgia.
“Stacey Abrams’s voter suppression claims were false. It has never been easier to vote and harder to cheat in the state of Georgia. This is a start, but I think Stacey Abrams should pay back the millions of taxpayer dollars the state was forced to spend to disprove her false claims.”
After Politico reported that Fair Fight Action paid $9.4 million in legal costs to a firm managed by Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, a close friend of Abrams and the chairwoman of her unsuccessful 2018 and 2022 gubernatorial campaigns, the organization’s finances came under scrutiny. The majority of the more than $25 million the group spent on legal fees in 2019 and 2020 went toward its unsuccessful Georgia case.
Ethics watchdogs claimed that Fair Fight Action spent an unbelievable amount of money on the lawsuit and that Abrams and Lawrence-tight Hardy’s friendship presents conflict-of-interest issues.