12 Arizona Republicans Are Due in Court Tuesday in the Trump Election Interference Case

The defendants are charged with conspiracy, fraud, and forgery in service of an effort to keep the president in power by dedicating Arizona’s electoral college votes to the former president.

Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP
John Eastman appears during his arraignment at Maricopa County Superior, May 17, 2024, at Phoenix. Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP

Twelve prominent Arizona Republicans, alleged co-conspirators of President Trump, are about to be processed, fingerprinted, and have their mugshots taken prior to appearing before an arraignment judge Tuesday in the Arizona fake electors case. 

On Friday, one of Mr. Trump’s former attorneys, John Eastman, was arraigned at the Maricopa County courtroom. On Tuesday, 12 of his alleged accomplices are scheduled to appear in court on charges they presented fraudulent presidential election results.

The defendants are charged with conspiracy, fraud, and forgery in service of an effort to keep Mr. Trump in power by dedicating Arizona’s electoral college votes to Mr. Trump “against the will of Arizona voters.” 

“Defendants and their unindicted co-conspirators deceived the public with false claims of election fraud in order to prevent the lawful transfer of the presidency, to keep [Mr. Trump] in office against the will of Arizona’s voters, and deprive Arizona voters of their right to vote and have their votes counted,” the indictment reads.

Four of the fake electors who allegedly participated in the event, Nancy Cottle, Robert Montgomery, Samuel Moorehead, and Tyler Bowyer, were arraigned on Friday as well. In Arizona, mugshots are released to the public; the photos of these four defendants were released Friday.

Eleven of the 18 defendants are Republicans who submitted a document to Congress claiming that Mr. Trump won the presidential election in Arizona, despite President Biden carrying the state by some 10,000 votes.

As part of their plan, the fake electors met on December 17, 2020, in order to cast their votes for Mr. Trump and signed a certificate claiming that they were the duly elected electors of the state, which they sent to the National Archives and Congress.

In total, 18 people have been charged in Arizona for alleged participation in the scheme, including the 11 fake electors, Mr. Eastman, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Mr. Trump’s former attorney, Mayor Giuliani.

Mr. Giuliani stood out as a defendant, being the only of the 18 to not have been legally served until Saturday, when that happened at his 80th birthday party in Florida.

Mr. Giuliani appeared to taunt prosecutors in a now-deleted post ahead of the party, saying, “If Arizona authorities can’t find me by tomorrow, they: 1. Must dismiss the indictment; 2. They must concede they can’t count votes.”

According to CNN, Mr. Giuliani was enjoying a birthday celebration at Palm Beach when two agents with the Arizona attorney general’s office interrupted the festivities to serve him.

Of the 12 people set to be arraigned Tuesday, the most prominent are Mr. Meadows and the Election Day operations director for the Trump campaign, Mike Roman. 

According to the Arizona attorney general’s office, Mr. Giuliani is also expected to appear at court Tuesday unless he is granted a delay, likely due to the difficulty in serving him.

Arizona is one of four states where charges have been filed against individuals involved in the plot to send slates of alternate electors to the Electoral College. In Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada, there are ongoing cases against those involved in the efforts in those states, and in Wisconsin, the Republican electors settled a civil case concerning their efforts.

Mr. Eastman, at his arraignment, pleaded not guilty, telling reporters outside the courthouse, “I am confident that with the laws faithfully applied, I will be fully exonerated at the end of this process.”

The 16 defendants expected in court Tuesday have not broadcast how they plan to plead, though Messrs. Meadows and Giuliani have pleaded not guilty in the similar case in Georgia.

The New York Sun

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