Meadows, former Trump aide plead not guilty in Arizona election case

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump aide Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday to nine felony charges related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona.

The two defendants appeared virtually at separate hearings in which their lawyers entered their not guilty pleas. The trial date is set for Oct. 31.

Meadows and Roman are just two of the 18 individuals charged in a wide-ranging indictment surrounding steps that the defendants are alleged to have taken to delegitimize President Biden’s victory in the state in 2020 and falsely declare former President Trump the winner.

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and several others charged in the case pleaded not guilty to all charges last month.

Others who have been charged include the 11 individuals who signed documents — including former Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward — claiming to be the legitimate electors in Arizona and falsely asserting that Trump had won the state’s 11 electoral votes, Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn and attorneys Jenna Ellis, John Eastman and Christina Bobb.

Prosecutors accused Meadows of working with Trump campaign members to submit the fake electors from Arizona and other states to Congress to claim that Trump had won. The indictment alleged Roman worked with other defendants like Giuliani and Epshteyn to organize the fake electors.

Roman served as the director of Election Day operations for Trump’s 2020 campaign.

Both Meadows and Roman have also been charged in connection with efforts to overturn the election results in Georgia and have pleaded not guilty. Arizona is one of five states where charges have been brought for individuals who attempted to overturn the election results.

Roman was also charged this week in Wisconsin on one count of forgery.

Roman’s attorney, Kurt Altman, told reporters that his client would fight the charges, saying that Roman “has no connection with Arizona” and “why this indictment came in the first place is beyond us.”

Epshteyn and one other fake elector are scheduled to be arraigned on June 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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