Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 22, 2024
Ex-AZ GOP Chair Kelli Ward & Rudy Giuliani Swept Up in Fake Elector Scheme ChargesSource: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Palácio do Planalto, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The legal maelstrom swirling around the disputed 2020 election results plunges further as former Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward, alongside 11 others, faces arraignment in Phoenix on charges of conspiracy, forgery, and fraud. These charges arise from their alleged roles in a scheme to overturn the Arizona election results, which saw Joe Biden claim victory over Donald Trump, as reported by Arizona Public Media.

Among those charged alongside Ward are notable figures, including Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and Trump's attorney, who, after evading service of his indictment for weeks, was finally served on his 80th birthday. The arraignment of Giuliani is pending, and it's unknown whether he will request a postponement. The indictment accuses these Republican allies of submitting documents to Congress fraudulently, declaring Trump the winner of Arizona's electoral votes.

In a bold claim, the indictment suggests that Ward orchestrated the group of fake electors and allegedly pressed then-Vice President Mike Pence to recognize them as legitimate—an effort rendered moot as none of the legal challenges altered the outcome in Arizona favoring Biden's win. According to Arizona Public Media, Ward, curiously, never retracted her vote as a fake elector, despite the dismissal of claims.

Historically shifting the legal landscape, this case marks the fourth state to charge former Trump associates with acts related to the contested election. John Eastman, the attorney credited with formulating a strategy to challenge the election certification, has already faced the court, pleading not guilty. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is referred to as an unindicted co-conspirator, untouched by direct charges in this particular Arizona case.

The arraignments include prominent personalities such as Tyler Bowyer from Turning Point USA, two former Trump aides, and five lawyers connected to the former president. Looming legal proceedings also await Trump allies like state Sen. Jake Hoffman, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Trump attorney Boris Epshteyn, in the days following these initial court appearances.