Arizona indicts Trump aides over 2020 election scheme

World Thursday 25/April/2024 07:40 AM
By: DW
Arizona indicts Trump aides over 2020 election scheme

Arizona's attorney general said on Wednesday that a grand jury indicted 18 people on charges of taking part in a fake elector scheme in 2020 to re-elect then-US President Donald Trump.

The effort is a bid to hold accountable those who backed Trump's false claim that he won the presidential vote.

"I will not allow American democracy to be undermined," Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a video released by her office. "It's too important."

Arizona is the fourth state to seek charges against people who tried to form an alternative slate of electors, after Michigan, Georgia and Nevada.

In 2020, President Joe Biden won the state of Arizona by 10,000 votes. Republican representatives, however, signed documents saying Trump had won.

The indictment names 11 Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring that Trump won Arizona.

They're charged with nine counts each of conspiracy, fraud and forgery.

Arizona's Attorney General Mayes said a grand jury had returned indictments on 11 local Republicans who were named.

The identity of seven other Republicans from out of state were redacted for the time being until all had been served with papers.

US media deduced the names of the seven through descriptions in the court papers.

One, who is described as an attorney "who was often identified as the mayor" and spread false allegations of election fraud, is said to be Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani spokesperson Ted Goodman confirmed the indictment, describing it as an example of "the continued weaponisation of our justice system."

The attorney general described another one of those indicted as Trump's "chief of staff in 2020," who is believed to be Mark Meadows.

It also lists a "former US president" — presumably Trump — as a co-conspirator who has not been charged.

Trump has  been charged in Georgia alongside Meadows, Giuliani and others in what is likely set to be the most explosive of the four criminal trials he faces.