Trump Advisers Meadows, Giuliani Among 18 Indicted in Arizona Election Case

Trump Advisers Meadows, Giuliani Among 18 Indicted in Arizona Election Case
Rudy Giuliani, a former lawyer of former president Donald J. Trump, leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Courthouse after jury deliberation in Washington on Dec. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

A grand jury in Arizona on Wednesday indicted 18 Republicans, including Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, with conspiracy, fraud, and forgery for submitting a document to Congress “falsely” declaring that Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in Arizona’s popular vote during the 2020 presidential election.

The court documents identify a “prior U.S. president,” presumably referring to President Trump, as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes blacked out the names of seven individuals indicted in the records released. However, it is clear from court documents that President Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are among the defendants whose names were redacted from the indictment.

Her office stated in a press release that the names would be disclosed once those individuals were served with the charges.

“In Arizona, and the United States, the people elected Joseph Biden as President on November 3, 2020,” the indictment reads.

“Unwilling to accept this fact, Defendants and unindicted coconspirators schemed to prevent the lawful transfer of the presidency to keep Unindicted Coconspirator 1 in office against the will of Arizona’s voters. This scheme would have deprived Arizona voters of their right to vote and have their votes counted.”

Electors are people selected to officially cast a state’s electoral votes within the U.S. Electoral College system utilized during presidential elections.

The “fake electors” scheme involved alternate electors from seven states where Joe Biden was declared the winner. These electors pledged to support President Trump by casting ballots on Dec. 14, 2020, the date when electors nationwide were required to meet at state capitols to vote. While labeled “fake electors,” they viewed themselves as contingent electors. They believed they were putting in a procedural vote for President Trump to reserve the right of such a vote in the case of President Trump succeeding in legal challenges reviewing the integrity of the state’s election outcome, adding that it was important to recognize that, “Constitution takes precedent over statute.”

The 11 people identified as alleged “fake electors” from Arizona, namely Tyler Bowyer, Nancy Cottle, Jake Hoffman, Anthony Kern, Jim Lamon, Robert Montgomery, Samuel Moorhead, Loraine Pellegrino, Greg Safsten, Kelli Ward, and Michael Ward, each face nine felony counts. These charges encompass conspiracy, fraudulent schemes, artifices, and forgery.

The indictment contains excerpts from text messages and emails exchanged among “unindicted conspirators,” whose identities are concealed. These communications mention allies of President Trump such as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, and Christina Bobb, campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn, and former campaign aide Mike Roman.

“A state grand jury made up of everyday regular Arizonans, has now handed down felony indictments for all 11 Republican electors as well as several others connected to this team,” Ms. Mayes said on Wednesday. “These are serious indictments, but this is the first hurdle the state must pass in our constitutional criminal justice system.”

When the results of the November 2020 election were ultimately certified, the 11 individuals nominated as Arizona’s Republican electors convened in Phoenix, where they signed a certificate during a ceremony on Dec. 14, 2020, asserting themselves as “duly elected and qualified” electors and alleging that President Trump had won the state.

This ceremony came soon after U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa dismissed their lawsuit that sought to decertify the results that awarded then-candidate Biden’s victory in the state. The judge dismissed their lawsuit for lack of legal standing, untimely filing, and failure to substantiate their claims with factual evidence.

Their lawsuit was one of eight that sought to challenge the integrity of the vote count in the Arizona election. It claimed that more than 412,000 votes were cast illegally in the state’s 2020 general election.

According to the state’s website, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden beat Trump by about 10,500 votes out of 3.4 million cast. Trump won Arizona in 2016 over Hillary Clinton by about 91,000 votes.

The Arizona Republican Party posted a one-minute video of the signing ceremony on social media. Subsequently, the document was transmitted to Congress and the National Archives, where it was ignored.

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward said at the time that her state’s Republican electors who cast their votes for President Trump believed they “represent the legally cast votes in our state.”

“Defendants deceived the citizens of Arizona by falsely claiming that those votes were contingent only on a legal challenge that would change the outcome of the election,” the indictment reads. “In reality, Defendants intended that their false votes for Trump-Pence would encourage Pence to reject the Biden-Harris votes on January 6, 2021, regardless of the outcome of the legal challenge.”

The attorney general’s office launched its investigation several months after Ms. Mayes, a Democrat, took office, replacing Republican Mark Brnovich.

Wednesday’s indictment in Arizona marks the fourth state to bring charges against individuals involved in the scheme of “fake electors.”

From The Epoch Times

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