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Giuliani charged in Arizona case; Trump an unindicted co-conspirator

RUDY Giuliani, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, is among 18 people charged in Arizona with illegally seeking to claim the state’s 2020 electoral votes for the then-U.S. president, in an indictment that names Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator.

The indictment, reached on Tuesday and unsealed on Wednesday, stems from the attempt by Trump and his allies to pressure election officials in several states to overturn the presidential election won by Joe Biden, efforts for which Trump has been indicted in Georgia and in federal court.

The court papers list “a former U.S. president,” referring to Trump, as an unindicted co-conspirator.

The indictment in Maricopa County Superior Court names 11 defendants and redacts the names of seven others. Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a press release announcing the charges that those names would be made public after all of the defendants had been served with the indictment.

Giuliani is among those whose names are redacted, a spokesperson for him, Ted Goodman, confirmed, criticizing the prosecution of the former New York mayor as political.

Another defendant whose name was redacted is described in the indictment as chief of staff in 2020, the position Mark Meadows held in the Trump White House at that time.

Representatives for Meadows did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the indictment.

INDICTMENT FOLLOWS GEORGIA, FEDERAL CASES

Trump, Giuliani and Meadows are co-defendants in the Georgia case, where they are charged with a racketeering conspiracy to overturn Biden’s victory in that state. They have pleaded not guilty there. Trump has also pleaded not guilty in the federal election subversion case in Washington.

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Trump, a Republican, says all the cases are a political “witch hunt” to prevent him from defeating Democrat Biden in this year’s presidential rematch.

Another defendant whose name is redacted is Trump lawyer Christina Bobb, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung confirmed, calling the Arizona indictment “another example of Democrats’ weaponization of the legal system.”

“Christina Bobb is a former Marine Corps officer, who served our nation and the President with distinction. The Democrat platform for 2024: if you can’t beat them, try to throw them in jail,” Cheung said.

Giuliani spokesperson Goodman also called the Arizona indictment an example of “the continued weaponization of our justice system,” saying it “should concern every American as it does permanent, irrevocable harm to the country.”

“Mayor Rudy Giuliani – one of the most effective prosecutors in American history who took down the Mafia, cleaned up the streets of New York and locked up corrupt public officials – is proud to stand up for the countless Americans who raised legitimate concerns surrounding the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election,” Goodman said.

The indictment alleges the defendants pressured the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, the Arizona Legislature and then-Governor Doug Ducey to change the election results.

Former president Donald Trump speaks upon arriving at Manhattan Criminal Court, on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in New York. Yuki Iwamura/Pool via REUTERS

FALSE ELECTORS SCHEME IN SEVERAL STATES

U.S. presidents are chosen by electors from each state, who cast votes in the Electoral College, where votes are allotted based on each state’s population.

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In Arizona and almost all other states, the winner of the state’s popular vote receives all of that state’s electoral votes. To win the presidency a candidate needs 270 electoral votes – a majority of a total of 538.

Arizona has 11 electoral votes, and the 11 defendants named in the indictment would correspond to those people who purported to be electors for Trump.

Arizona is one of seven states where Biden won but Trump allies sought to award the electoral votes to Trump. Many of the races were close. Arizona was decided by little more than 10,000 votes or 0.3% of the ballots cast.

The charges include fraud, forgery and conspiracy, three classes of felony that with a conviction could have sentences ranging from 6 months to more than 12 years in prison.

Arizona is the fourth U.S. state where participants in the elector scheme have faced criminal charges.

Three people who held themselves out as Trump electors in Georgia were charged alongside Trump in the sweeping racketeering case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Sixteen people who falsely claimed to be legitimate Trump electors in Michigan were indicted in July 2023 by state Attorney General Dana Nessel. Authorities in Nevada charged six people, including the state Republican chair, with taking part in the scheme.

The so-called fake elector plan also plays a prominent role in the federal case against Trump brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith, accusing the former president of a multi-part scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump will press his claim that he should be immune from those charges at the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.

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Besides Meadows, Giuliani and Bobb, the other defendants whose names were redacted were three attorneys and the director of election-day operations for the Trump campaign. The unindicted co-conspirators also include were two former members of the Arizona legislature and two former attorneys for the Trump campaign.

By ANDREW GOUDSWARD and DANIEL TROTTA

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