Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to charges in Arizona fake electors case

<span>Rudy Giuliani outside court in Washington in December.</span><span>Photograph: Bonnie Cash/Reuters</span>
Rudy Giuliani outside court in Washington in December.Photograph: Bonnie Cash/Reuters

Rudy Giuliani denied charges of illegally trying to keep Donald Trump in power after his 2020 election defeat as he was arraigned to appear before a court in Arizona along with 10 other defendants on Tuesday.

Giuliani’s not guilty plea to nine felony charges came days after he was served an indictment as he left a party to celebrate his 80th birthday last Friday.

Giuliani was the last of the 12 defendants to receive a summons to Tuesday’s hearing after the Arizona attorney general’s office said he had evaded efforts to serve him with a notice for several days.

Related: Rudy Giuliani complains Arizona indictment not served ‘stylishly’

Reflecting the difficulties in tracking him down, the attorney general’s office requested a $10,000 cash bond for Giuliani, citing the problems it had serving him with an indictment and a general lack of cooperation, according to reports. No such request was made of other defendants.

Others charged over their roles as false electors include two sitting lawmakers, state senators Jake Hoffman and Anthony Kern. The former Arizona Republican party chair Kelli Ward and her husband, Michael Ward, have been charged, as has Tyler Bowyer, a Republican national committeeman, and Turning Point USA executive, and Jim Lamon, who ran for US Senate in 2022.

The others charged in the fake electors scheme are Nancy Cottle, Robert Montgomery, Samuel Moorhead, Lorraine Pellegrino and Gregory Safsten.

Further defendants are expected to be arraigned next month, including Boris Epshteyn, a lawyer for Trump, and Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff.

Trump himself is listed as “un-indicted co-conspirator 1” in the case but has not been charged.

Before receiving the indictment, Giuliani, the former New York mayor and the legal spearhead of Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, had taunted the Arizona officials by posting a picture of himself on X challenging them to drop the case.

“If Arizona authorities can’t find me by tomorrow morning: 1. They must dismiss the indictment; 2. They must concede they can’t count votes,” he captioned the post, which has since been deleted.

After being served his indictment, Giuliani posted on Facebook that he did not know that Arizona officials were looking for him until “somebody told me there was a news article saying they were having a hard time finding me”.

The indictment alleged that Giuliani “pressured” Arizona legislators and the Maricopa county board of supervisors to change the election result in the state, which Joe Biden won by more than 10,000 votes.

He is also accused of urging Republican electors in Arizona to vote for Trump, in the face of the popular vote counts showing a victory for Biden.

According to the testimony of Rusty Bowers, a former speaker of the Arizona house of representatives, Giuliani, in his efforts to persuade the state legislature to overturn the 2020 vote, told him and legislators that “we don’t have the evidence but we have lots of theories”.

The case is the latest in a spate of legal woes to beset Giuliani – a former federal prosecutor once renowned for fighting mafia organised crime bosses – over his attempts to help Trump overturn the 2020 poll.

He has filed for bankruptcy after being ordered to pay $148m in damages to two election workers in Georgia after they successfully sued for defamation.