Az grand jury indicts 11 fake electors for Trump, including Kelli Ward & 2 state senators

A grand jury has indicted 18 people, including two Arizona state senators and the former head of the Arizona Republican Party, in a fake elector scheme that aimed to install Donald Trump as the president after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office
has not released the names of everyone who was indicted, but all 11
fake electors were charged:

  • Kelli Ward, former AZGOP chairman
  • Arizona Sen. Jake Hoffman, leader of the Arizona Freedom Caucus
  • Arizona Sen. Anthony Kern, member of the Arizona Freedom Caucus
  • Tyler Bowyer, Turning Point USA CEO
  • Michael Ward, husband of Kelli Ward  
  • Nancy Cottle, a Republican who’s been active in local politics for a decade
  • James Lamon, a failed 2022 U.S. Senate candidate
  • Robert Montgomery, former chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee
  • Samuel Moorhead, former chairman of Gila County Republican Party 
  • Lorraine Pellegrino, former president of the Ahwatukee Republican Women
  • Gregory Safsten, former executive director of the AZGOP

There were also seven people indicted whose names were redacted.

Richie Taylor, a spokesman for the
Attorney General’s Office, told the Arizona Mirror that the names were
redacted because they haven’t yet been served. He said that service
should happen quickly and once it is completed, an unredacted indictment
will be published.

The identities of some of the
redacted defendants were obvious, including Rudy Giuliani, who was
described as an attorney for Trump who was often referred to as “the
mayor,” former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Mike Roman,
the director of Election Day operations for the Trump campaign.

Giuliani was one of the big names who
spread false claims of election fraud following the Nov. 3, 2020
election, and he held a hearing in Phoenix in late November where he
claimed that Arizona’s elections officials had made no effort to ensure
that the results of the presidential election were accurate.

All 11 of the fake electors were
charged with conspiracy, fraudulent schemes and artifices, fraudulent
schemes and practices and forgery, which are all felonies.

The fake electors were indicted
by a grand jury on April 23 for signing bogus documents claiming that
Donald Trump won the 2020 election, after Trump’s campaign allegedly
urged them to do so.

Trump is identified in the indictment as “unindicted co-conspirator 1.”

In the indictment, all of the fake
electors are implicated in an attempt to deceive “the public with false
claims of election fraud in order to prevent the lawful transfer of the

They are accused of attempting to
keep “President Donald J. Trump in office against the will of Arizona
voters, and depriving Arizona voters of their right to vote and have
their votes counted.”

According to the indictment, the fake
electors forged certificates of Electoral College votes for President
Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael Pence and filed those with
the Arizona Secretary of State and the chief judge of the Federal
District Court for the District of Arizona.

The group is also charged with
pressuring the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, the state Legislature and
then-Gov. Doug Ducey to change the election results.

The fake electors are additionally
accused of trying to trick Arizonans into believing that their
fraudulent votes were contingent on a successful outcome in Trump’s
challenge of the 2020 election results, when they were actually trying
to urge Pence to reject the votes for Biden on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to the indictment, Ward organized the fake elector vote, and proclaimed that they were Arizona’s “true electors.”

Several of the fake electors,
including Hoffman, Kern, Ward and Bowyer, have continued to spread the
unfounded claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, even
though no evidence of that has ever come to light.

Hoffman sent a letter to then-Vice
President Mike Pence on Jan. 5, 2021, asking him to delay the
certification of the election results and to check with the Arizona
Legislature to determine which slate of presidential electors to use.

Hoffman issued a statement Wednesday evening, shortly after Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes released news of the indictments.

“Let me be unequivocal, I am innocent
of any crime, I will vigorously defend myself, and I look forward to
the day when I am vindicated of this disgusting political persecution by
the judicial process,” Hoffman wrote. “Kris Mayes & the Democrats’
naked corruption and weaponization of government will long be a stain on
the history of our great state and nation.”

Hoffman additionally alleged that
Mayes made up her mind that the fake electors were guilty before she
even began an investigation, saying that the indictments were an effort
to go after her political opponents.

There were multiple fake elector
schemes in Arizona, one tied to the AZGOP which included the above-named
electors, as well as another one by the Sovereign Citizens of the Great
State of Arizona that was not tied to the Trump campaign.

Georgia, Michigan and Nevada have
already brought charges against fake electors there, and Wisconsin is
still investigating possible charges for its fake electors.

Arizona Senate Minority Leader Mitzi
Epstein lauded Mayes for sending the message that attempting to subvert
the will of the people and stop the peaceful transfer of power comes
with legal consequences.

“I appreciate Attorney General Mayes’
leadership in ensuring that Arizona’s fake electors are held
accountable,” Epstein said in a statement. “ The individuals who played
into and spread the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen from
Donald Trump are dangerous to our nation’s democracy.”