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Eleven arraigned in 2020 Arizona elector case

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(The Center Square) – Eleven defendants in the 2020 Arizona elector case pled “not guilty” to charges of fraud, forgery, and conspiracy during their arraignment at the Superior Court in Maricopa County on Tuesday morning.

Former Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, her husband Michael Ward, Nancy Cottle, Samuel Moorhead, state Sen. Anthony Kern, Turning Point Action Chief Operating Officer Tyler Bowyer, Loraine Pellegrino, Gregory Safsten, Robert Montgomery, Christina Bobb, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were all allowed to walk free for now after their pleas. The defendants were also given further court dates for this summer and fall.

Giuliani, who worked as a lawyer for former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election, was asked to appear in court within the next 30 days for “booking procedures” and post a $10,000 bond. The court sided with state prosecutors on their requests, except they will allow Giuliani to post a “secured appearance bond” as opposed to a cash one.

The former mayor, who appeared virtually, called the case “completely political.” He was the last defendant to be served his summons, shortly after tweeting a photo from his birthday party on May 17.

The allegations center on 11 Republicans who prosecutors say signed a document in hopes of having it used as an alternative to the actual elector document following the 2020 election, as former President Donald Trump narrowly lost the state to President Joe Biden. However, several others, like Giuliani and Bobb, were indicted in connection with those who signed. Regardless of their alleged role, they are all being charged with the same nine counts.

“I will not allow American Democracy to be undermined,” Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a video in April when the grand jury indictments were announced. “We’re here because justice demands an answer to the efforts that the defendants and other unindicted co-conspirators allegedly took to undermine the will of Arizona’s voters during the 2020 presidential election.”

One of the defendants, lawyer John Eastman, had already pled not guilty last week, according to the Washington Post. Other defendants have later court dates. There was a small group of protesters in support of the defendants outside the courtroom in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday morning, with some holding signs that said “Say it: Alternate Electors.”

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