Arizona fake elector scandal: Giuliani, Meadows, Republican politicians indicted

Indictments were announced on Wednesday by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes stemming from the fake elector scandal that took place in Arizona.

The indictment released Wednesday names 11 Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring that Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in Arizona in the 2020 presidential election. It shows seven other defendants whose names were not immediately released because they had not yet been served with the charges.

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawyer Rudy Giuliani are confirmed to be among those indicted in the election interference case.


The charges stem in part from an Arizona Republican electors meeting in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020 to sign a certificate saying they were "duly elected and qualified" electors and claimed Trump had carried the state. The document was later sent to Congress and the National Archives, where it was ignored.

Charges include felonies that range from fraud and forgery to conspiracy. 

Several Arizona politicians were named in the suit others, including the following:

  • Kelli Ward - State GOP’s chair from 2019 until early 2023
  • Tyler Bowyer - Executive of the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA who serves on the Republican National Committee
  • Nancy Cottle - First vice president of the Arizona Federation of Republican Women
  • Jacob Hoffman - State senator
  • Anthony Kern - State senator photographed in restricted areas outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack and is now a candidate for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District seat
  • James Lamon - Energy industry executive who lost a 2022 Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat
  • Robert Montgomery - Chairman of the Cochise County Republican Committee during 2020
  • Samuel Moorhead - Republican precinct committee member in Gila County
  • Lorraine Pellegrino - President of the Ahwatukee Republican Women
  • Gregory Safsten - Former executive director of the Arizona Republican Party
  • Michael Ward - Osteopathic physician who is married to Kelli Ward

Who else was indicted in the Arizona fake elector scheme?

Five others were indicted, but their names were blacked out of records released by Mayes. Her office said the names will be released after they’re served with the charges.

On Aug. 16, Mayes confirmed that an investigation into the fake electors scandal in Arizona had begun.

"I will not allow American democracy to be undermined," Mayes said in the video released by her office. "It’s too important."

Response from Valley politicians

Arizona state senator Jake Hoffman issued the following response to the news of his indictment:

The Arizona Republican Party also issued a response on X.


What else should we know about the 2020 election in Arizona?

Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes. Of the eight lawsuits that unsuccessfully challenged Biden’s victory in Arizona, one was filed by the 11 Republicans who would later sign the certificate declaring Trump as the winner in the state.

Indictments against fake electors have also been made in Nevada, Michigan and Georgia. 

Other election interference charges pressed by Arizona AG Mayes

In Arizona, Mayes’ predecessor, Republican Mark Brnovich, conducted an investigation of the 2020 election, but the fake elector allegations were not part of that examination, according to Mayes’ office.

In another election-related case brought by Mayes’ office, two Republican officials in a rural Arizona county who delayed canvassing the 2022 general election results face felony charges. A grand jury indicted Cochise County Supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby in November on one count each of conspiracy and interference with an election officer. Both pleaded not guilty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.