Judge sets $10,000 bond after Giuliani fails to appear for booking in Arizona fake elector case

Arizona Sen. Anthony Kern walks into the Superior Court of Maricopa County to be arraigned on charges of fraud, forgery, and conspiracy. Photo by Camaron Stevenson.

By Camaron Stevenson

May 21, 2024

One state senator, the former chair of the Republican Party of Arizona, and a lawyer once known as “America’s mayor” pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday morning to felony charges of fraud, forgery, and conspiracy.

Eleven individuals appeared in court Tuesday, including former New York City mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. Anthony Kern, former Republican Party of Arizona chair Kelli Ward, and others indicted by an Arizona grand jury last month for allegedly committing forgery, fraud, and conspiracy in “preventing the lawful transfer of the presidency” from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election.

The group is facing numerous felony charges—and potential jail time—for their efforts in 2020 to give Arizona’s electoral votes in the presidential election to Trump, despite a majority of voters in the state casting their ballots for Biden. All who have appeared so far pleaded not guilty.

Nearly every individual indicted in the fake elector case has appeared for their arraignment hearing, and the remaining are scheduled to report in the coming weeks.

Giuliani, who appeared in court virtually, was also ordered by a Superior Court of Maricopa County judge to pay a $10,000 secured appearance bond due to the difficulty prosecutors had in serving him his indictment notice. After weeks of evading law enforcement, Giuliani was served on May 17 at his residence in Florida.

Giuliani protested the need for a bond during his virtual court appearance and denied any intentional interference.

“I have a fair number of threats including death threats, and I don’t have security anymore,” said Giuliani. “So I have very strict rules about who gets up and who doesn’t.”

In addition to the bond, Giuliani was given 30 days to report for booking, fingerprints, and mugshots—which he failed to do prior to his initial court appearance—in relation to charges against him in the fake elector case. While some of the other defendants also appeared for their arraignment virtually, they had already gone to the court voluntarily to be booked.

According to the indictment, all 11 individuals, with help and coordination from members of the Trump campaign, forged a document in 2020 claiming to represent Arizona’s slate of electors, and stating that Trump was to be given Arizona’s 11 votes in the Electoral College.

The full list of fake electors includes (names in bold have appeared in court and pleaded not guilty):

  • Tyler Bowyer: CEO, right-wing student organization Turning Point USA; National Committeeman, Republican Party of Arizona
  • Nancy Cottle: Chairperson for slate of fake electors; Vice President of Programs, Arizona Federation of Republican Women
  • Jake Hoffman: Arizona state senator representing Queen Creek
  • Anthony Kern: Arizona state senator representing Phoenix and Glendale; candidate for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District
  • Jim Lamon: Former Republican candidate for US Senate; former CEO of DEPCOM Power, a subsidiary of Koch Engineered Solutions
  • Robert Montgomery: Former chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee
  • Sam Moorhead: Former Gila County Provisional Community College District Governing Board Member; former Gila County Republican Party Second Vice Chair
  • Loraine Pellegrino: Secretary for slate of fake electors
  • Greg Safsten: Executive Director, Republican Party of Arizona
  • Dr. Kelli Ward: Former state legislator, former Chair of the Republican Party of Arizona
  • Dr. Michael Ward: Husband of Dr. Kelli Ward

Lamon, Hoffman, and the other five defendants in the case have had their arraignment hearings rescheduled for June. Giuliani has until June 20 to be booked.

Republicans in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania forged a similar document signed by their own slate of fake electors with the hope that Vice President Mike Pence would accept these electors as legitimate, tipping the Electoral College votes to Trump’s favor.

Trump attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro devised the legal theory that served as a framework for the fake elector plot.

But it failed, and individuals involved in the fake elector operations in Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada have been indicted on charges similar to those in Arizona. In October 2023, Chesebro pleaded guilty to charges in Georgia and has since met with prosecutors in Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona, offering full cooperation.

Eastman was indicted in Arizona and appeared in Phoenix for his arraignment last week. While Eastman denied his involvement in orchestrating Arizona’s fake electors scheme, he did not disavow its legitimacy.

“I of course pled not guilty,” said Eastman. “I had zero communications with the electors in Arizona, zero involvement in any of the election litigation in Arizona or legislative hearings, and I’m confident that with the laws faithfully applied, I’ll be fully exonerated at the end of this process.”

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was the last to receive his summons to appear in court, after evading agents from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for several weeks. Authorities found him at his birthday party in Florida, where he had been hosting live streams for several days.

Next, the defense and prosecutors, led by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, will hold monthslong pretrial meetings before the first trial on October 10, the day after early voting begins in the 2024 General Election.

Author

  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

CATEGORIES: GOP ACCOUNTABILITY

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