Arizona is at the heart of Trump’s election troubles, KTAR’s legal analyst says
Aug 2, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: Aug 29, 2023, 5:35 pm
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — The 45-page indictment against former President Donald Trump unsealed this week revealed Arizona’s large part in the indictment, according to a legal counselor with Maricopa County.
Trump’s latest indictment directly mentions the Copper State. To be more exact, it mentions efforts to change election results from Trump’s 2020 presidential battle with Joe Biden.
“Arizona has a very large part in this indictment,” KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s legal analyst Barry Markson said.
Markson, who combed over the indictment, said the document includes multiple references to former Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers. Although the paperwork doesn’t mention Bowers by name, it mentions him indirectly by referring to the then-speaker.
What does Rusty Bowers have to do with the latest Trump indictment?
Bowers repeatedly told Trump and his representatives that there was no evidence of fraud or election stealing going on in the Copper State, according to an early July interview on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad show in early July.
“If there was a problem here, I’ve got to see it,” he recalled telling Trump’s team. “I want the names on my desk of all the dead people, all the servicemen’s ballots that were stolen, their names.”
Bowers even spoke to the FBI, who probed him about what happened. According to Markson, Bowers didn’t get the proof he asked for.
“He was told either ‘We don’t have proof’ or ‘We have a lot of theories’ or ‘We have a lot of ideas’ and he said, ‘That’s not enough to make me violate my oaths,'” Markson said.
That’s not the only way Arizona is closely tied to the latest political bombshells, though.
Fake electors also tie Arizona to Trump’s indictment
“The other connection with Arizona is the fake electors,” Markson said.
“Trump and his followers in this election denialism contacted seven different states and encouraged some Trump supporters in those states to become fake electors,” he said.
In other words, according to Markson, Trump reporters in these seven states submitted “a slate of electors who weren’t real.”
He said Trump and his followers tried to confuse Arizona’s Congresses with electors who hadn’t been elected in order to confuse legislators so the election couldn’t be certified on Jan. 6.
Arizona was one of those states Trump allegedly tried to bamboozle
“There was a slate of electors led by former Arizona Republican party chair Kelli Ward and her husband who signed a fake elector form making it look like the official document that was filed by the state of Arizona and submitted that to Congress and the National Archives, even though it was fake. They were not elected electors of Arizona,” he said.
In Dec. 2020, former party chair Kelli Ward tweeted a photo of her and 11 Republicans who teamed up to vote for Trump.
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) December 14, 2020
Markson said there were two separate slates of fake electors in Arizona. One was made up of relative unknowns. Ward’s group was made up of well-known politicians who are currently under investigation by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, he said.
“I don’t know whether or not she will indict them, but just as a reference, in Michigan, the federal attorney there just indicted the fake electors and charged each of them individually with eight separate felonies,” Markson said.
Overall, though, Markson says the latest indictment features Arizona as one of the states that played a huge role in Trump’s election controversy.
“Arizona’s in there a lot,” he said. “There’s definitely a big Arizona component in there.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Heidi Hommel contributed to this report.