United States

Grand jury indicts 18 in Arizona fake elector scheme; Trump is unindicted co-conspirator

Reuters

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Grand jury indicts 18 in Arizona fake elector scheme; Trump is unindicted co-conspirator

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani departs the US District Courthouse after he was ordered to pay $148 million in his defamation case in Washington, USA, December 15, 2023.

Bonnie Cash/Reuters

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is among those indicted, according to his spokesperson Ted Goodman, although the former New York mayor's name is redacted

A grand jury has charged 18 people with allegedly taking part in an Arizona fake elector scheme to re-elect then-US President Donald Trump in 2020, the state’s attorney general said on Wednesday, April 24.

The court papers list a “former US president,” Trump, as an unindicted co-conspirator.

The indictment stems from efforts to reverse Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in several states in 2020, based on Republican Trump’s false claims that he had been re-elected.

The names of seven defendants are redacted in an indictment that names 11 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.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is among those indicted, said his spokesperson Ted Goodman, although the former New York mayor’s name is redacted.

“The continued weaponization of our justice system should concern every Americans 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 US Presidential Election,” Goodman said.

The indictment also identifies one defendant as chief of staff in 2020, the position Mark Meadows held in the Trump White House at that time.

Representatives for Meadows and Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

US 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.

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 votes – a majority of total 538 electoral votes.

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

Arizona was one of seven states where Trump allies sought to award those state’s electoral votes to Trump even those states were won by Biden.

The false electors scheme figures in two criminal trials, in Washington, DC, and Georgia, charging Trump with unlawfully seeking to overturn Biden’s victory. – Rappler.com

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