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Hobbs praises indictment of Arizona's 11 'fake electors'

Gov. Katie Hobbs praised a state grand jury indictment of Republicans who allegedly sought to undermine President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Donald Trump in Arizona in 2020.

A state grand jury indicted 18 individuals, including the 11 so-called fake electors who sent documents to Washington falsely claiming Trump defeated Biden in Arizona. The indictment alleges that those individuals, including state Sens. Jake Hoffman (R-Gilbert) and Anthony Kern (R-Glendale), engaged in a conspiracy to deliver Arizona’s 11 electoral votes to the former president.

Hobbs, a Democrat who oversaw that election as Arizona’s secretary of state, accused the indicted individuals of trying to undermine the will of voters.

“As secretary of state, I oversaw many free, fair and secure elections in 2020, and these folks tried to undermine those elections,” Hobbs said. “They tried to undo the will of the voters in the state of Arizona.”

She added, “No one’s above the law, and this shows that people can be held accountable, and I look forward to seeing it play out in the courts.” 

An indictment is not a conviction, and Hobbs declined to comment on whether she would like the fake electors to see jail time. But she did say the alleged conspirators did not hide their scheme and openly bragged about signing the fake elector document in 2020.

“I mean, they were publicly bragging about it,” Hobbs said. 

That included a photo posted to the official Arizona Republican Party account on Twitter, now known as X, on Dec. 14, 2020, that showed the 11 fake electors when they met to vote for Trump.

The Arizona Republican Party, which is mentioned throughout the indictment, criticized the investigation by Democratic Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes that led to the indictment. The list of indicted individuals included former Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and former Executive Director Greg Safsten along with current National Committeeman Tyler Bowyer.

In a statement, the party alleged the investigation was a politically-motivated abuse of power.

“The Arizona Republican Party condemns these actions in the strongest terms,” according to the statement. “They do nothing but undermine the trust in our state's legal processes and are clearly designed to silence dissent and weaponize the law against political opponents. We will not be deterred by this overreach.”

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Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.