Fake Voter Case: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani Pleads Not Guilty to Felonies in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani pleaded not guilty Tuesday to nine felony charges stemming from his role in an effort to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Arizona to Joe Biden.

Ten other people, including former Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, also pleaded not guilty to charges. conspiracy, forgery and fraud charges related to the case. Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment, which was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His and Ward’s trials are scheduled for October 17, about three weeks before the US election.

During his remote appearance, Giuliani said he did not have a lawyer at this time but will have one. When asked by the court if he needed an attorney appointed for his arraignment, Giuliani said, “No, no, I think I’m capable of handling it myself.”

Giuliani said he received a subpoena but did not have a copy of the indictment. However, he said he is familiar with the charges from reading about them.

Arizona authorities tried unsuccessfully for several weeks to notify Giuliani of the accusation against him. Giuliani was finally served Friday night while walking to a car after his 80th birthday celebration in Florida.

On Tuesday, in response to prosecutors’ request for a $10,000 cash bail after describing the difficulty of turning Giuliani over in the case, Giuliani said: “I have quite a few threats, including death threats, and already I don’t have security… .so I have very strict rules about who gets up and who doesn’t.”

The judge required Giuliani to post a $10,000 secured appearance bond and appear in Arizona within the next 30 days for booking proceedings. “He has shown no intention to comply with the legal process in Arizona,” prosecutor Nicholas Klingerman said in requesting bail for Giuliani.

Arizona authorities unsealed felony charges last month against Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring that Trump, a Republican, had won Arizona. The defendants include five lawyers connected to the former president and two former Trump aides. Biden, a Democrat, Arizona won by more than 10,000 votes.

The indictment alleges that Ward, a former state senator who led the Republican Party in Arizona from 2019 to early 2023, organized the fake electors and urged then-Vice President Mike Pence to declare them as the state’s true electors. He says Ward was unable to withdraw his vote as a false elector even though no legal challenge changed the outcome of the presidential race in Arizona.

Last week, attorney John Eastman, who devised a strategy to try to persuade Congress not to certify the election, was the first defendant in the case to be indicted. pleading not guilty to the charges.

Trump himself was not charged in the Arizona case, but was labeled an unindicted accomplice.

Arizona is the fourth state where the former president’s allies have been accused of using false or unproven claims about voter fraud related to the election.

The 11 people claiming to be Arizona Republican electors gathered in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020, to sign a certificate saying they were “duly elected and qualified” electors and affirming that Trump won the state. TO one minute video Information from the signing ceremony was posted on social media by the Arizona Republican Party at the time. The document was later sent to Congress and the National Archives, where it was ignored.

Of eight lawsuits that unsuccessfully challenged Biden’s victory in the state, one was filed by Arizona’s 11 false electors, who had asked a federal judge to decertify the results and prevent the state from sending its results to the Electoral College. In dismissing the case, the judge concluded that the Republicans “had failed to provide the court with factual support for their extraordinary claims.” Days after that lawsuit was dismissed, the 11 participated in the signing of the minutes.

The 11 people who were indicted on Tuesday are Giuliani; Pavilion; Tyler Bowyer, executive of the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA; State Senator Anthony Kern; Greg Safsten, former executive director of the Arizona Republican Party; Robert Montgomery, former chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee; Samuel Moorhead, Republican precinct committeeman in Gila County; Nancy Cottle, who in 2020 was the first vice president of the Arizona Federation of Republican Women; Loraine Pellegrino, former president of Ahwatukee Republican Women; Michael Ward, an osteopathic doctor married to Ward; and attorney Christina Bobb.

Two other defendants, attorney Jenna Ellis and Michael Roman, who was Trump’s 2020 Election Day operations director, were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday but ultimately did not appear at the hearing. His lawyers had requested adjournments. It is not clear from the court record whether the judge had ruled on that request.

Arraignments are scheduled for June 6 for state Sen. Jake Hoffman; June 7 for Trump’s former chief of staff Marcos Prados; and June 18 for Trump lawyer Boris Epshteyn and James Lamon, another Republican who claimed Trump won the state.