May 28, 2024
The former New York mayor is accused of spearheading Donald Trump’s efforts to compel lawmakers in Georgia to ignore the will of voters and illegally appoint electoral college electors favorable to Trump.

By Kate Brumback | Associated Press

ATLANTA — Rudy Giuliani turned himself in at a jail in Atlanta on Wednesday on charges related to efforts to overturn then-President Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

The former New York mayor was indicted last week along with Trump and 17 others. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said they participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to subvert the will of the voters after the Republican president lost to Democrat Joe Biden in November 2020. Bond was set at $150,000, second only to Trump’s $200,000.

Giuliani, 79, is accused of spearheading Trump’s efforts to compel state lawmakers in Georgia and other closely contested states to ignore the will of voters and illegally appoint electoral college electors favorable to Trump.

Georgia was one of several key states Trump lost by slim margins, prompting the Republican and his allies to proclaim, without evidence, that the election was rigged in favor of his Democratic rival Biden.

Giuliani is charged with making false statements and soliciting false testimony, conspiring to create phony paperwork and asking state lawmakers to violate their oath of office to appoint an alternate slate of pro-Trump electors.

Leaving his apartment in New York on Wednesday morning, Giuliani said he was “fighting for justice” and has been since he first started representing Trump.

“I’m feeling very, very good about it because I feel like I am defending the rights of all Americans, as I did so many times as a United States attorney,” Giuliani told reporters.

Trump, the early front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, has said he plans to turn himself in at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday. He and his allies have characterized the investigation as politically motivated and have heavily criticized District Attorney Willis, a Democrat.

Giuliani criticized the indictment of lawyers beside himself who had worked for Trump and said the justice system was being politicized. He also highlighted the fact that some of the people indicted are not household names.

“Donald Trump told you this: They weren’t just coming for him or me,” Giuliani said. “Now they’ve indicted people in this case I don’t even know who they are. These are just regular people making a normal living.”

Willis has set a deadline of 9 a.m. EDT Friday for the people indicted last week in the election subversion case to turn themselves in. Her team has been negotiating bond amounts and conditions with the lawyers for the defendants before they surrender at the jail.

A $100,000 bond was set Wednesday for Trump-allied lawyer Sidney Powell, one of several people accused in a breach of voting equipment in rural Coffee County, in south Georgia. Misty Hampton, who was the Coffee County elections director when the breach happened, had her bond set at $10,000.

David Shafer, who’s a former Georgia Republican Party chair and served as one of 16 fake electors for Trump, and Cathy Latham, who’s accused in the Coffee County breach and was also a fake elector, turned themselves in Wednesday morning.

Also surrendering Wednesday were lawyers Ray Smith and Kenneth Chesebro, who prosecutors said helped organize the fake electors meeting at the state Capitol in December 2020.

Attorney John Eastman, who pushed a plan to keep Trump in power, and Scott Hall, a bail bondsman who was accused of participating in the breach of election equipment in Coffee County, turned themselves in Tuesday.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has said it will release booking photos at 4 p.m. each day, but Shafer appeared to post his on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, just after 7 a.m. Wednesday with the message, “Good morning! #NewProfilePicture.”

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While Republicans in Georgia and elsewhere are calling for Willis to be punished for indicting Trump, a group of Black pastors and community activists gathered outside the state Capitol in Atlanta on Wednesday to pray for and proclaim their support for the Democratic prosecutor.

Bishop Reginald Jackson, who leads Georgia’s African Methodist Episcopal churches, said that Willis is under attack “as a result of her courage and determination.”

Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Atlanta and Michael R. Sisak in New York contributed reporting.