Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and more than a dozen Trump allies indicted in Arizona for fake elector plot

Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and more than a dozen Trump allies indicted in Arizona for fake elector plot

A grand jury indicted 11 Arizona Republicans and seven others for their role in an alleged scheme to keep Donald Trump in the White House by falsely certifying the state’s 2020 election results as a Trump win.

The indictment accuses the group of trying to prevent “the lawful transfer of the presidency of the United States, keeping President Donald J. Trump in office against the will of Arizona voters, and depriving Arizona voters of their right to vote and have their votes counted.”

According to the indictment, one month after the election, 11 Trump-supporting Republicans convened at the state’s GOP headquarters in Phoenix to sign certificates claiming the state’s electoral college votes.

"We conducted a thorough and professional investigation over the past 13 months into the fake electors scheme in our state," Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a video on Wednesday announcing the indictment. "I understand for some of you today didn’t come fast enough. And I know I’ll be criticized by others for conducting this investigation at all. But as I’ve stated before, and we’ll say here again, today, I will not allow American democracy to be undermined."

In addition to the 11 people named in the indictment, seven other individuals are charged, though their names are temporarily redacted pending notification. However, given other information about them in the document, their likely identities are apparent.

Former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani appears to be among the defendants from the redacted group. He is described in the indictment as a person “often identified as ‘the Mayor’” who “spread false claims of election fraud in Arizona and nationally shortly after November 3, 2020.”

“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,” an advisor to Mr Giuliani told The Independent in a statement.

Mark Meadows also appears to be named in the indictment, which describes an individual who served as a chief of staff in 2020 and liased with the Trump campaign. Mr Meadows, a former congressman, was Donald Trump’s chief of staff in 2020.

At attorney for Mr Meadows told The Washington Post his client hadn’t seen the indictment yet, but said if the former Trump chief of staff is named, “it is a blatantly political and politicized accusation and will be contested and defeated.”

Donald Trump is refered to in the indictment as an unindicted co-conspirator.

The Arizona case mirrors similar cases around the country relating to the chaotic final days between the 2020 election and the inauguration of Joe Biden.

Trump, Meadows, and Giuliani are unindicted co-conspirators in an ongoing case in Michigan, filed last summer, accusing 16 individuals of falsely trying to certify the state for Trump.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, three alleged fake electors are part of a larger case from state officials against Trump and his associates for their alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state, where the Biden campaign eked out a narrow victory.

The announcement is the latest sign of the legal jeopardy the former president faces.

In New York, he faces an ongoing, unprecedented criminal trial related to his alleged attempts to conceal hush money payments to women with damaging allegations during the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday over whether presidential immunity protects Donald Trump from a federal case alleging his part in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.

Alex Woodward contributed reporting to this story.