Eleven individuals formally charged in Arizona elector case of 2020

Eleven defendants in the 2020 Arizona elector case pleaded “not guilty” to charges of fraud, forgery, and conspiracy during their arraignment at the Superior Court in Maricopa County on Tuesday morning.

Former Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, her husband Michael Ward, Nancy Cottle, Samuel Moorhead, state Sen. Anthony Kern, Turning Point Action Chief Operating Officer Tyler Bowyer, Loraine Pellegrino, Gregory Safsten, Robert Montgomery, Christina Bobb, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have been granted temporary freedom following their pleas. The court has scheduled additional dates for hearings later this summer and fall for the defendants.

After serving as a lawyer for former President Donald Trump following the 2020 election, Giuliani has been summoned to court for “booking procedures” within the next 30 days. The court has granted the state prosecutors’ requests, with the exception that Giuliani can provide a “secured appearance bond” instead of a cash bond. He will also need to post a $10,000 bond.

The former mayor, who joined the virtual proceedings, dismissed the case as “completely political.” He received his summons as the final defendant, just moments after sharing a photo from his birthday party on May 17th.

Eleven Republicans are at the center of the allegations. Prosecutors claim that they signed a document with the intention of using it as an alternative to the official elector document after the 2020 election, when former President Donald Trump lost the state to President Joe Biden by a narrow margin. Alongside Giuliani and Bobb, who were indicted, others who signed the document are also facing charges. Despite their varying alleged roles, all of them are being charged with the same nine counts.

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“I won’t allow American Democracy to be undermined,” stated Attorney General Kris Mayes in a video back in April when the grand jury indictments were made public. Mayes emphasized the importance of justice and the need to address the alleged efforts made by the defendants and other unindicted co-conspirators to undermine the will of Arizona’s voters during the 2020 presidential election.

According to the Washington Post, lawyer John Eastman, one of the defendants, had already entered a plea of not guilty last week. The remaining defendants have upcoming court dates. On Tuesday morning, outside the downtown Phoenix courtroom, a small group of protesters showed their support for the defendants, holding signs that read “Say it: Alternate Electors.”

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