Charges revealed against former Trump chief of staff in Arizona fake elector case

Mark Meadows, former president Donald Trump's chief of staff, faces the same conspiracy, fraud and forgery charges as the other named defendants in Arizona's fake electors case, the state attorney general's office says

PHOENIX (AP) — The chief of staff for former President Donald Trump faces the same conspiracy, fraud and forgery charges as the other named defendants in Arizona's fake elector case, the state attorney general's office said Wednesday.

Mark Meadows wasn't named in a grand jury indictment last week because he hadn't been served with it, although he was readily identifiable based on descriptions in the document. He has since been served, revealing nine felony counts, Richie Taylor, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

George Terwilliger, an attorney for Meadows, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP. He previously referred to the Arizona indictment as a “blatantly political and politicized accusation and will be contested and defeated.”

With the indictments, Arizona becomes the fourth state where allies of the former president have been charged with using false or unproven claims about voter fraud related to the election. Joe Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes.

Charges have not yet been made public against one defendant, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump-aligned attorney.

Trump himself was not charged but was referred to as an unindicted co-conspirator.

The 11 Arizona Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring that Trump won in Arizona are among the 18 defendants in the case. They include a former state GOP chair, a 2022 U.S. Senate candidate and two sitting state lawmakers.

The 11 people who had been nominated to be Arizona's Republican electors met in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020, to sign a certificate saying they were "duly elected and qualified" electors and claiming that Trump carried the state. A one-minute video of the signing ceremony was posted on social media by the Arizona Republican Party at the time. The document was later sent to Congress and the National Archives, where it was ignored.

The others are Mike Roman, who was Trump’s director of Election Day operations, and four attorneys accused of organizing an attempt to use fake documents to persuade Congress not to certify Biden’s victory: John Eastman, Christina Bobb, Boris Epshteyn and Jenna Ellis.

___ Associated Press writers Jacques Billeaud and Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix contributed to this story.