Prominent Republicans Arraigned in Arizona for Election Subversion Plot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eleven prominent Republicans were arraigned in an Arizona courtroom on Tuesday for a number of felonies related to their involvement to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the Grand Canyon State.  All 11 people pleaded not guilty to their myriad criminal charges.

In late April, 18 people were indicted on a number of alleged crimes surrounding a plot to overturn the state’s presidential election results and falsely declare former President Donald Trump the winner of the key battleground state. The scheme involved 11 state Republicans falsely declaring themselves electors and cast their electoral votes for Trump. 

All 11 of the fake electors were indicted along with a number of top Trump officials, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, campaign staffer Michael Roman and former campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Boris Ephystein and Christina Bobb.

Among the people to be formally charged on Tuesday include nine of the 11 Republicans who falsely claimed to be electors and submitted documentation to Congress declaring Trump the winner of the presidential election in Arizona. They include former Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, state Sens. Jake Hoffman and Anthony Kern and RNC Committeeman Tyler Bower. Giuliani and Bobb were also arraigned on Tuesday.

All the people indicted for their involvement in the scheme were charged with a myriad of alleged crimes, including nine felony counts for conspiracy, fraud and forgery. Trump himself was not charged, but he was referred to as a “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 58-page indictment.

Eastman, one of Trump’s former attorneys who was the author of two notorious memos outlining how Trump could refute the election results and stay in office, was the first of the indicted Arizona Republicans to be arraigned. On Friday, Eastman was formally charged on Friday and pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

Giuliani, another one of Trump’s former lawyers, was one of several people unnamed in the original indictment because he had not yet been served a notice of indictment. After nearly a month, authorities were finally able to locate Giuliani — who was in Palm Beach, Florida celebrating his 80th birthday — and serve him his notice of indictment. 

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) announced on Monday that Giuliani had been served indictment papers after the former New York City mayor posted a since-deleted picture to X of himself at his birthday party, writing “If authorities can’t find me by tomorrow morning… they must dismiss the indictment.”

Read the indictment here. 

Learn more about the indictment here.

This post was updated on Tuesday, May 21 at 4:50 p.m. EDT to reflect that all 11 defendants, not 12 as was originally reported, were arraigned and pleaded not guilty.