Giuliani told to post bond in Arizona election case after alleged evasion

By Thomson Reuters May 21, 2024 | 1:49 PM

By Andrew Goudsward

(Reuters) – Former Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was ordered to post a $10,000 bond in Arizona on Tuesday after allegedly eluding authorities’ attempts to serve him court papers accusing the former New York mayor of trying to subvert the 2020 election.

Appearing by phone at a court proceeding, Giuliani criticized what he called a “completely political case” as he pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to falsely claim Arizona’s electoral votes for Trump following Trump’s narrow loss to Democratic President Joe Biden.

A Maricopa County judge, Shellie Smith, ordered Giuliani to travel to Arizona within 30 days to post the bond.

Giuliani is one of 18 defendants in the case brought by Arizona’s Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes, and one of 11 who made their first court appearance on Tuesday. All pleaded not guilty.

The other 10 defendants were released without bond, but prosecutors sought a different arrangement for Giuliani, saying they struggled to contact him after charges were filed.

Prosecutors argued Giuliani was seeking to evade authorities, pointing to a since-deleted post on X in which Giuliani suggested prosecutors might have to drop the charges if they could not locate him.

An agent from the Arizona attorney’s general office finally served Giuliani on Friday as he was leaving his 80th birthday party in Florida.

“He has shown no intent to comply with legal process in Arizona in this case,” prosecutor Nicholas Klingerman said.

Giuliani, who does not yet have a lawyer in the case, disputed that he had “been hiding from anyone.” He said he limited access to his New York apartment over security concerns.

“I do consider this indictment a complete embarrassment to the American legal system, but I’ve shown no tendency not to comply,” Giuliani said, as the judge sought to cut him off.

Giuliani and the other defendants are facing conspiracy, fraud and forgery charges over their efforts to assemble a slate of electors from Arizona pledged to support Trump, a bid to undermine certification of the 2020 election.

Trump, a Republican, who will face off against Biden in the November presidential election, continues to falsely claim that his defeat was the result of fraud. Trump faces two upcoming criminal trials on election-subversion charges.

Smith set an Oct. 17 trial date, just weeks before the Nov. 5 election. Trump is not charged in the Arizona case.

Former Trump lawyer Christina Bobb and former Arizona Republican Chair Kelli Ward also appeared in court on Tuesday. John Eastman, who advised Trump on a plan to derail the Jan. 6, 2021 election certification, pleaded not guilty on Friday.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)