Final 3 Defendants in Arizona Alternate Elector Case Arraigned

The case alleges that 18 pro-Trump Republicans conspired to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Final 3 Defendants in Arizona Alternate Elector Case Arraigned
Arizona state prosecutor Nicholas Klingerman speaks with reporters outside the Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on June 18, 2024. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)
Allan Stein
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PHOENIX—The final three defendants in Arizona’s “fake elector” conspiracy case entered pleas of not guilty on June 18 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Jenna Ellis, an attorney and legal advisor during President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, and 2020 Republican Senate candidate James Lamon, appeared virtually for their arraignment with their attorneys.

The third defendant, Boris Epshteyn, an attorney and advisor for Mr. Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, was present by telephone and represented by attorney Michael Bailey in person.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty to nine felony indictments, including forgery, fraud, and conspiracy in the case.

They are among 18 people indicted in Attorney General Kris Mayes’ investigation into what she described as a “fake electoral scheme” by Republicans to overturn the results of Arizona’s 2020 election by nominating alternate electors for President Trump.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has already been arraigned as a co-conspirator in the case, which claims he spread “false claims of election fraud in Arizona and nationally” while serving as Mr. Trump’s attorney.

“He pressured the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Arizona legislators to change the outcome of Arizona’s election, and he was responsible for encouraging Republican electors in Arizona and in six other contested states to one for Trump–Pence on Dec. 14, 2020,” according to the indictment.

The state alleges that Republicans convened in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020, where they nominated 11 electors who signed a certificate declaring themselves as “duly elected and qualified electors” and announcing President Trump won the election.

However, state-certified results put Democrat candidate Joe Biden ahead of President Trump by 10,000 votes.

Although the alleged Republican electors sent the document to Congress and the National Archives, it was deemed illegitimate.

Rudy Giuliani, a former lawyer of former president Donald J. Trump, leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Courthouse after jury deliberation in Washington on Dec. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Rudy Giuliani, a former lawyer of former president Donald J. Trump, leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Courthouse after jury deliberation in Washington on Dec. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Co-defendants in the case include Kelli Ward, Tyler Bowyer, Nancy Cottle, Jacob Hoffman, Anthony Kern, Robert Montgomery, Samuel Moorehead, Lorraine Pellegrino, Gregory Safsten, Michael Ward, John Eastman, Christina Bobb, Michael Roman, and Mark Meadows.

The complaint also lists a “former president of the United States who spread false claims of election fraud following the 2020 election” as a co-conspirator, but does not name President Trump specifically.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Shellie Smith set conditions for Mr. Lamon’s release on personal recognizance. As an Idaho resident, he is free to travel outside the state but is prohibited from contacting any co-defendant.

He is also barred from possessing drugs without a valid prescription and must give the court proof of his local address or any new address should he move.

Ms. Ellis and Mr. Epshteyn also remain free on personal recognizance and may travel outside the state as conditions of their release.

The court set a Nov. 14 hearing date to schedule a trial. Ms. Ellis’ attorney is Matt Brown; Attorney Dennis Wienchhik is representing Mr. Lamon in the case.

Lawyer Jenna Ellis at the Michigan House Oversight Committee in Lansing, Michigan on Dec. 2, 2020. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Lawyer Jenna Ellis at the Michigan House Oversight Committee in Lansing, Michigan on Dec. 2, 2020. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Trump campaign senior adviser Boris Epshteyn arrives at Trump Tower in New York City, N.Y., on Nov. 16, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Trump campaign senior adviser Boris Epshteyn arrives at Trump Tower in New York City, N.Y., on Nov. 16, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Outside the courthouse, Attorney General Criminal Division Chief Nicholas Klingerman told reporters he'd “rather not comment on other potential targets.”

“Our investigation is ongoing. I don’t know if that will result in any more charges. We’re continuing to investigate,” Mr. Klingerman said.

A statement by the Republican Party of Arizona condemned the indictments “in the strongest terms.”

“The timing of these charges—precisely four years after the 2020 elections and as President Biden seeks reelection—is suspiciously convenient and politically motivated.

“This is not justice; it is pure election interference.”

Other cases involving alleged pro-Trump alternate electors remain ongoing in Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada.