Giuliani, Arizona GOP leaders plead not guilty in election interference case

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani railed against his latest
indictment over his role in the 2020 election in a Maricopa County
courtroom Tuesday morning. 

Giuliani appeared for arraignment virtually alongside fellow Trump attorney Christina Bobb and seven so-called “fake electors”
accused of conspiracy and fraud for signing a document falsely
certifying Donald Trump as the winner of Arizona’s 2020 presidential

“I do think this indictment is an embarrassment to the
American justice system,” he said via a Microsoft Teams voice chat.
“[This is the] ‘let’s see what we can do to destroy Donald Trump’

The state grand jury indicted 18 Republicans more than a
year after Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat elected in
2022, initiated an investigation into the “fake electors.” 

Prosecutors name in the indictment
11 Republican-nominated electors who convened at Arizona GOP
headquarters in Phoenix one month after the 2020 election to sign a fraudulent certificate
handing Arizona’s electoral votes to Trump, who lost Arizona to
President Joe Biden by more than 10,000 votes. The signers identified
themselves as certified state electors, even though state officials
already certified the Democratic Party’s nominations as the rightful

State Senators Anthony Kern, who arrived late to the
arraignment, iced coffee in hand, and Jake Hoffman, who will be
arraigned in June, are both named as “fake electors.” 

Before each
presidential election, both the Democratic and Republican parties in
each state select one elector for each congressional seat that state
has. Arizona has 11. Once the popular vote in the state determines a
winner, the governor certifies the electors chosen by the winning party,
who then cast their votes in alignment with the popular vote. 

11 indicted “fake electors” were chosen by the Republican Party in
2020, but weren’t certified because the candidate on the Republican
ticket lost. Thus, they lacked authority to sign the certificate
claiming to be electors and giving Arizona’s votes to Trump. 

who wasn’t one of the electors but is accused of aiding in the
conspiracy, logged into the 8:30 a.m. arraignment at 9:45 a.m. and only
by audio. The sound of trickling water echoed in the background of his

He said he doesn’t yet have an attorney, nor has he received a copy of the indictment. 

“I do have a general familiarity of the charges through reading,” he said. 

was served a court summons Friday night at his 80th birthday party in
Florida after he apparently evaded Arizona law enforcement for weeks,
taunting agents on his podcast and via social media. 

“I’m too difficult to find. It’s hilarious,” he said on his podcast earlier this month. 

night, Giuliani posted a selfie to X, formerly Twitter, depicting him
at his party. The post read: “If Arizona authorities can’t find me by
tomorrow morning: 1. They must dismiss the indictment; 2. They must
concede they can’t count votes.”

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes reposted Giuliani’s jab only an hour later, adding: “The final defendant was served moments ago. @RudyGiuliani nobody is above the law.”

prosecutor Nicholas Klingerman said agents tried to serve him in his
Manhattan condo a week prior but weren’t let upstairs by Giuliani’s

Giuliani explained in court that he must keep tight security because of constant death threats and claimed that the Iranian government tried to kill him in the past. 

has shown no intent to comply with the legal process in Arizona,”
Klingerman told the judge. He asked that Giuliani be required to book
himself into the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office within
30 days on a $10,000 secured bond, to which the judge agreed.

Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward and her husband Michael Ward appeared in
person alongside Kern and Bobb. Those who appeared virtually were
Giuliani, Turning Point Action President Tyler Bowyer and notable
Arizona Republicans Loraine Pellegrino, Robert Montgomery, Nancy Cottle,
Samuel Moorehead and Gregory Safsten.

Trump attorney John Eastman
already pleaded not guilty last week. Hoffman, former Chief of staff Mark
Meadows, former U.S. Senate candidate James Lamon, Trump attorney Jenna
Ellis, campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn and former campaign aide Mike
Roman will be arraigned in June. 

Discussions to use Republican
electors to change the election outcome began as early as Nov. 4, 2020,
according to prosecutors, who detail in the indictment memos drafted by
the Trump administration that advocate for Georgia, North Carolina and
Pennsylvania to “send their own electors to vote and have it go to the

About two dozen Arizonans protested outside the downtown
Phoenix courthouse, calling the case a political stunt and insisting
that “alternate electors” are a legitimate political strategy. 

is tentatively set for October, just a month before the next general
election, though it’s likely that the case drags into next year.