Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Trump allies’ efforts to overturn 2020 election is now focus of Arizona grand jury probe

One of Mr Trump’s attorneys pleaded guilty to charges in Fulton County, Georgia, and has agreed to assist investigators in Arizona

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 07 March 2024 18:41 GMT
Related video: Donald Trump delivers incoherent speech praising Capitol rioters

Prosecutors in Arizona have issued grand jury subpoenas to multiple people involved in Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign.

The subpoenas are reportedly the latest move in the effort to indict individuals involved in the former president's "alternate elector" scheme. The gambit would have involved states in which Mr Trump lost — but where Republicans controlled the state house — assigned an "alternate" slate of electors to issue the state's electoral college votes. Their jobs would have been to vote for Mr Trump, defying the will of the state's voters in the process.

Mr Trump and 18 of his allies are currently facing racketeering conspiracy charges in Fulton County, Georgia, for similar alleged scheming.

The fresh subpoenas in Arizona were first reported by Politico. Six people, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the subpoenas to the outlet.

It is currently unclear if Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, is going to attempt to charge Mr Trump's national campaign or if her investigation is primarily focused on Arizona Republicans who falsely presented themselves as electors in 2020.

She did tell CNN in November that her investigation is "robust".

Several of Mr Trump's 2020 allies in Arizona also are involved in the state GOP or hold office.

Kelli Ward is a former GOP chairwoman, and both Jake Hoffman and Anthony Kern are state senators. All three are among the 11 Republicans who posed as electors in 2020.

Arizona is not the only state to explore possible charges against Mr Trump's fake electors.

Attorneys general in Michigan and Nevada have also charged Republicans who posed as electors in 2020.

Kenneth Chesebro, one of Mr Trump's former attorneys, has pleaded guilty to his role in the fake elector scheme in Georgia. He has since agreed to assist prosecutors in Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin in investigations into the plot.

Late last year he also agreed to speak with prosecutors investigating the fake elector plot in Arizona.

Special counsel Jack Smith has also brought charges against Mr Trump for alleged attempts to disenfranchise millions of voters.

Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win in Arizona since 1996. The revelation that Arizona — long a Republican stronghold — had voted for Mr Biden caused chaos for Fox News, where analysts called the state's results before any other outlet, upsetting Republican voters across the country.

Ms Mayes only narrowly won her position as attorney general by 280 votes, and Kari Lake, a news anchor turned unflinching Trump coat-rider, lost her gubernatorial race in the state to her Democratic opponent.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in