Names of 5 Additional Defendants Revealed In Arizona’s ‘Fake Electoral’ Case

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
April 26, 2024Politics
Names of 5 Additional Defendants Revealed In Arizona’s ‘Fake Electoral’ Case
Attorney John Eastman talks to reporters after a hearing in Los Angeles on June 20, 2023. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has revealed the names of five additional defendants who were indicted earlier this week by a grand jury in the state’s ongoing investigation into the so-called fake electoral scheme, a probe that the Arizona GOP has panned as “pure election interference.”

According to an updated indictment released on April 26 by Ms. Mayes’s office, the following five individuals have been named as defendants: lawyers John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn, Christina Bobb, and Jenna Ellis, as well as campaign operative Michael Roman.

Charges against them include fraud, forgery, and conspiracy in context of an alternate elector scheme to challenge the 2020 presidential election results.

Earlier this week, Ms. Mayes’s office released an indictment that charged a total of 18 people with various crimes over what the attorney general referred to in a video statement as a “fake electoral scheme” that was concocted to “undermine the will of Arizona’s voters during the 2020 presidential election.”

“Arizona’s election was free and fair,” she said. “The people of Arizona elected President Biden. Unwilling to accept this fact, the defendants charged by the state grand jury, allegedly schemed to prevent the lawful transfer of the presidency. Whatever their reasoning was, the plot to violate the law must be answered for.”

Arizona Republicans released a statement denouncing the charges as “suspiciously convenient and politically motivated” given their timing ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

“This is not justice,” they wrote. “It is pure election interference.”

“They do nothing but undermine the trust in our state’s legal processes and are clearly designed to silence dissent and weaponize the law against political opponents,” the Arizona GOP added.

The Arizona attorney general’s office named the following 11 individuals as defendants in the case earlier this week: Kelli Ward, Tyler Bowyer, Nancy Cottle, Jacob Hoffman, Anthony Kern, James Lamon, Robert Montgomery, Samuel Moorhead, Lorraine Pellegrino, Gregory Safsten, and Michael Ward.

Two names still remain redacted in the latest indictment, while former President Donald Trump is identified as an unindicted co-conspirator.

“Additional defendants have been indicted but are not named as they have not yet been served their indictment,” Ms. Mayes’s office clarified in an April 26 statement.

With this week’s indictment, Arizona became the fourth state where Trump-aligned electors (variously referred to as “alternate,” “dueling,” or “fake”) have been criminally charged, with cases ongoing in Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada.

More Details

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, which President Trump claimed was marred by fraud, slates of Republican electors in a number of states signed what they described as “alternate” or “dueling” electoral certificates for the 45th president.

At the time, they faced criticism for allegedly usurping the authority of the Democrat electors who were authorized by state election officials to submit electoral certificates based on the official election results.

However, the Republican electors argued that their decision to submit alternate certificates was to preserve President Trump’s legal claim for the election as legal challenges to the results made their way through the courts.

In the Arizona case, a total of 18 Republicans have been charged with conspiracy, fraud, and forgery for submitting an electoral certificate to Congress declaring that President Trump beat then-candidate Joe Biden in Arizona’s popular vote during the 2020 presidential election.

Official records indicate that President Biden won Arizona by over 10,000 votes.

“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,” it adds.

While the indictment doesn’t specifically name President Trump, it’s clear from the context that “Unindicted Coconspirator 1” is a reference to President Trump.

The indictment contains excerpts from text messages and emails exchanged among “unindicted conspirators,” whose identities remain concealed. These communications mention allies of President Trump such as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump attorney and New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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 while proclaiming that President Trump had won the state.

The document they signed was sent to Congress and the National Archives, where it was not accepted as legitimate.

Aside from ongoing criminal cases against the “alternate” or “fake” Republican electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada, a civil lawsuit over the same issue was settled in Wisconsin in December, which required the 10 Republicans who presented themselves as contingent electors to send statements to government offices saying that their actions were “part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”

From The Epoch Times

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