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Arizona votes to certify results as Giuliani peddles debunked conspiracies at Phoenix hotel

Trump’s attorney amplifies baseless claims of voter fraud at unofficial hearing with GOP lawmakers

Alex Woodward
New York
Monday 30 November 2020 20:23 GMT
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs hands over voting certification documents to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on 30 November in Phoenix.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs hands over voting certification documents to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on 30 November in Phoenix. (AP)
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Arizona officials certified the state’s voting results from the 2020 presidential election, effectively sealing president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani held a meeting with Republican state lawmakers at a hotel in Phoenix to allege voter fraud and amplify baseless conspiracies while urging officials that their “political career is worth losing if you can save the right to vote in America.”

Certifying the results with Governor Doug Doucey and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, both Republicans, Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs said that the election was “conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures – despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.”

Amid a spurious legal bid to overturn the results of the election, Mr Giuliani and the president’s attorneys – who held a “hearing” with Republican officials in Pennsylvania last week – continued to air unfounded claims of voter fraud at a press conference in Phoenix, despite not offering any meaningful evidence in court filings roundly dismissed by judges across the US.

The president-elect carried the state by roughly 10,500 votes and is set to receive the state’s 11 electoral college votes.

At the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Phoenix, just two miles from the state’s certification, Mr Giuliani has continued a campaign urging state legislators to interfere in the election’s outcome. That would be largely impossible in Arizona, where two-third of the state legislature must agree to convene or be ordered to do so by the governor.

Officials in Wisconsin – the last state to certify its results – are scheduled to begin certifying votes on Monday following a partial recount.

The Trump campaign requested and paid for the recount, which revealed a larger margin of victory for Mr Biden.

In Arizona, Mr Giuliani claimed without evidence that votes had been changed and that ballot boxes had been “stuffed” before introducing a “witness" who claimed to have "personally debriefed the son of a Cuban intelligence officer who had first-hand knowledge speaking with two of Hugo Chavez’s family members" who said he had a direct connection to voting machines used to alter US election outcomes.

Mr Giuliani suggested that millions of unauthorised immigrants in Arizona cast ballots in the election, and one Republican lawmaker claimed that as many as 36,000 voters in Arizona “can’t prove their citizenship."

“There is no question any reasonable person’s mind that the vote totals contain large numbers of illegal votes from people who are not citizens of United States,” Mr Giuliani said, without evidence. “And the officials certifying have made no effort to find out the truth, which, seems to me, gives the state legislature a perfect reason to take over the conduct of this election.”

Since Election Day, the Trump campaign and his allies have filed more than 30 lawsuits to prevent states from certifying the results of the election.

The certification in Arizona also will allow US Senator-elect Mark Kelly, a Democrat, to be sworn in this week. His special election victory against Republican Martha McSally fills a seat formerly held by late Senator John McCain.

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