Rudy Giuliani receives summons in Arizona fake electors case at birthday party

Rudy Giuliani was served Friday with a notice to appear in an Arizona court to answer charges stemming from an effort to keep Donald Trump in the White House despite losing the 2020 election, according to Attorney General Kris Mayes.

A grand jury issued an indictment against Giuliani and 17 others more than three weeks ago. Giuliani was the last defendant to receive their summons because authorities hit roadblocks trying to reach him.

Agents from Mayes’ office had spent two days in New York City trying to serve Giuliani without success, according to Richie Taylor, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office. A doorman confirmed where Giuliani lived, but would not contact him, Taylor said. The office also tried calling multiple phone numbers for Giuliani and sent the summons via certified mail.

But about 11 p.m. EDT Friday, Taylor said, agents approached Giuliani as he was leaving his birthday party in Florida. Taylor said agents had traveled to the state earlier in the day, expecting to find Giuliani because Giuliani has been producing nightly live video streams from his residence there.

“The final defendant was served moments ago,” Mayes posted on the social media site X on Friday night. She tagged Giuliani’s account and wrote, “Nobody is above the law.” This was the first time Giuliani was formally named by prosecutors. His name had been withheld because he had not been served.

Shortly before being contacted by Mayes’ agents, Giuliani had posted a taunting message to the X social media platform referring to his avoidance of being served in the case. That post was later deleted, but Mayes shared a screenshot of Giuliani’s remarks.

“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,” Giuliani wrote in the post.

Taylor said there was no truth to Giuliani’s statement.

Giuliani’s post included an image of him and six other people surrounded by balloons. On Friday, Giuliani said on X that he was having an “early-birthday celebration in Florida.” Giuliani turns 80 later this month.

Giuliani was not affected by the “decision to try and embarrass him” during his birthday party, said spokesperson Ted Goodman in an emailed statement. “He enjoyed an incredible evening with hundreds of people, from all walks of life, who love him and respect him for his contributions to society. We look forward to full vindication soon.”

Caroline Wren, a Republican consultant and adviser to Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, hosted the party at her home. Steve Bannon and Roger Stone were among the attendees.

“It was a wonderful evening celebrating an American hero,” Wren said in a statement to The Arizona Republic.

Wren called Mayes’ effort to serve Giuliani political and a waste of resources. Giuliani, she said, “has spent his entire life dedicated to law and order and was just trying to celebrate” his birthday.

According to the indictment, Giuliani’s misdeeds in Arizona in the weeks after the 2020 election included disseminating misinformation about the election, pressuring elected officials to change the outcome of the election, holding an event in downtown Phoenix where he said Arizona election officials had not tried to determine whether the election results were accurate, and encouraging Republican electors to declare Trump the winner.

Giuliani is expected in court on Tuesday for his arraignment unless the court grants him a delay, Taylor said.

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What are the charges in the fake electors case, and what happens next?

The 58-page indictment alleges a slate of Arizona Republicans and Trump aides, including Giuliani, engaged in a conspiracy aimed at “preventing the lawful transfer of the presidency of the United States, keeping President Donald J. Trump in office against the will of Arizona voters, and depriving Arizona voters of their right to vote and have their votes counted.”

The defendants in the case face multiple felony counts, including conspiracy, forgery and fraud. If they are convicted, the crimes could carry prison time, though state law allows for less severe penalties, including probation, depending on a defendant’s circumstances, like past criminal history.

Friday morning, former Trump attorney John Eastman was the first defendant to appear in a Maricopa County courtroom. He entered a plea of not guilty and, after the hearing, said he would fight the case against him at trial.

Most of the other defendants are expected to appear alongside Giuliani in court or be arraigned virtually next week, on May 21, though some have delayed their appearances to June.

The Republic’s Stacey Barchenger and Steve Kilar contributed to this article.

Elena Santa Cruz is a justice reporter for The Republic. Reach her at elena.santacruz@gannett.com. Follow her on X @ecsantacruz3.

Ronald J. Hansen is a politics reporter for The Republic. Reach him at ronald.hansen@arizonarepublic.com.

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