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Giuliani formally notified of indictment in Arizona election case

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – JANUARY 21: Rudy Giuliani speaks to members of the media where Republican candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was scheduled to host a campaign event on January 21, 2024 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Gov. DeSantis has suspended his presidential campaign and is endorsing Republican candidate, former President Donald Trump. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)  (Brandon Bell)
By Anna Betts New York Times

Rudy Giuliani on Friday night was served with a notice of his indictment in the Arizona election interference case, becoming the last of the 18 defendants to receive the notice after nearly a month of unsuccessful attempts by authorities.

The indictment against Giuliani, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, and others includes conspiracy, fraud and forgery charges related to their attempts to change the results of the 2020 election in the state in favor of Trump, according to prosecutors. Among the other defendants are Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, along with all of the fake electors who acted on Trump’s behalf to keep him in power despite his defeat there.

Richie Taylor, a spokesperson for Kris Mayes, Arizona’s attorney general who brought the indictment, said Giuliani was served Friday around 11 p.m. in Palm Beach County, Florida, as he left his 80th birthday party. “The agents by no means disrupted his event. They waited to serve him outside as he left,” Taylor said.

Giuliani’s spokesperson, Ted Goodman, confirmed in a statement Saturday that Giuliani was served “after the party, after guests had left and as he was walking to the car.”

“He was unfazed and enjoyed an incredible evening with hundreds of people, from all walks of life, who love and respect him for his contributions to society,” Goodman said. “We look forward to full vindication soon.”

Giuliani is expected to appear in court Tuesday unless the court grants a delay, Taylor said. A trial in the Arizona election interference case has been tentatively set to start in mid-October.

Over the past several weeks, Taylor said, authorities had tried multiple times to serve Giuliani in New York City, as well as through a phone call and certified mail.

Taylor said agents with Mayes’ office traveled to Florida on Friday, knowing that Giuliani was there because of livestreams from his residence there.

“We would have preferred to serve him three weeks ago when everyone else was served,” he said, adding that Giuliani had avoided the attempts and had been taunting the office online.

The party was organized by Caroline Wren, a Republican consultant. Several hours before it began, Giuliani posted on social platform X a now-deleted photo of himself with a group of people, captioned: “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.”

Taylor said that although the initial scheduled court appearance was approaching, there was no deadline to serve the notice.

The defendants are accused by prosecutors of putting pressure on “officials responsible for certifying election results to encourage them to change the election results,” among them the governor, members of the state Legislature and the board of supervisors in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county.

On Friday morning, John Eastman, another lawyer who advised Trump’s 2020 election campaign, became the first of the defendants to be arraigned in the Arizona case. He pleaded not guilty.

Several other prominent defendants in the case are also scheduled to be arraigned this coming week, including Meadows and Boris Epshteyn, who remains one of Trump’s top legal advisers.

Giuliani and other former Trump allies also face similar charges in Georgia. Prosecutors in Michigan and Nevada have also brought criminal charges related to the Trump campaign’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election, but those cases have focused solely on the fake electors that the campaign deployed.

Last year, a jury ordered Giuliani to pay $148 million to two former Georgia election workers who said he had destroyed their reputations with lies that they tried to steal the 2020 election from Trump.

Several days later, a federal judge ordered Giuliani to immediately pay the sum he owes, citing concerns that he might “conceal his assets” if he were given more time. The next day, he filed for bankruptcy.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.