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12 indicted in AZ 'fake elector' case to appear in court on Tuesday

A dozen individuals accused of participating in a so-called fake elector scheme to undermine President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Arizona are scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Tuesday.

A grand jury indictment alleged 18 participants in the alleged plot sought to deliver Arizona’s 11 electoral votes to former President Donald Trump even though he lost the state to Biden. 

Nine of the 11 fake electors, who posted a video of themselves signing a document falsely claiming Trump won the state’s popular vote, are among those scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, May 21:

  • Kelli Ward, former Republican Party of Arizona chair
  • Anthony Kern, state senator
  • Tyler Bowyer, RNC national committeeman and COO for Turning Point Action
  • Gregory Saftsten, former Republican Party of Arizona executive director
  • Nancy Cottle, former Republican Party of Arizona executive committee member
  • Robert Montgomery, former Cochise County Republican Committee chairman
  • Samuel Moorhead, former Gila County Republican Committee second vice chair
  • Lorraine Pelegrino, former Ahwatukee Republican Women president
  • Michael Ward, Kelli Ward’s husband

The final two electors, state Sen. Jake Hoffman and former U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon, are scheduled to appear in court on June 6 and June 18, respectively.
Three other defendants accused of participating in the scheme are also scheduled to appear in court on May 21, including Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis and Christina Bobb.

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and campaign official Michael Roman are scheduled to appear in court on June 7. Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn is scheduled to appear in court on June 18. 

A spokesman for Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said Trump attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani,  who was just served an indictment on Friday, is also expected in court on Tuesday unless a judge grants him a delay.

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.