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Giuliani pleads not guilty over his role in trying to overturn Trump defeat

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has pleaded not guilty to nine felony charges stemming from his role in an effort to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 US election loss in Arizona to Joe Biden.

May 22, 2024, updated May 22, 2024
Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News . (Photo: Supplied/Fox News)

Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News . (Photo: Supplied/Fox News)

Ten others, including former Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, forgery and fraud charges related to the case.

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His and Ward’s trials are scheduled for October 17, about three weeks before the US election.

The indictment alleged Giuliani spread false claims of election fraud in Arizona after the 2020 election and presided over a downtown Phoenix gathering where he claimed officials made no effort to determine the accuracy of presidential election results.

It also accused him of pressuring Maricopa County officials and state legislators to change the outcome of Arizona’s results and encouraging Republican electors in the state to vote for Trump in mid-December 2020.

During his remote appearance, Giuliani said he did not have a lawyer, and that he felt capable of handling the arraignment himself.

Giuliani said he received a summons but did not have a copy of the indictment. He said he is familiar with the charges, though, by reading about them.

Arizona authorities tried unsuccessfully over several weeks to serve Giuliani notice of the indictment against him. He was finally served on Friday night as he was walking to a car after his 80th birthday celebration in Florida.

On Tuesday, prosecutors requested a $US10,000 ($A14,997) cash bond after outlining efforts by Arizona authorities since April 23 and the difficulties they faced.

The judge instead required Giuliani to post a secured appearance bond of $US10,000 as well as appear in Arizona within the next 30 days for booking procedures.

“He has shown no intent to comply with the legal process in Arizona,” prosecutor Nicholas Klingerman said in asking for the bond.

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Investigators weren’t allowed to go up to Giuliani’s residence, a doorman at the building refused to accept the documents and voicemails left for Giuliani weren’t returned, Klingerman said.

The prosecutor said before the notice was delivered, Giuliani mentioned the Arizona case on a podcast, telling listeners he found it hilarious that Arizona investigators were having difficulty finding him.

“This is perfect evidence that if they’re so incompetent (that) they can’t find me, they also can’t count votes correctly,” he said, according to Klingerman.

Giuliani responded that he hadn’t been hiding from Arizona authorities, saying he has strict rules about who can walk up to his residence given he’s been the target of death threats. He also called the indictment political.

“I do consider the indictment to be a complete embarrassment to the American legal system,” Giuliani said.

After Tuesday’s arraignments, Giuliani spokesperson Ted Goodman said the former New York City mayor looked forward to being vindicated.

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