Ex-Trump Lawyer Eastman Pleads Not Guilty In Arizona Electors Case

Eastman Arizona Electors Case

John Eastman, the first of 18 defendants accused of illegally seeking to claim Arizona’s 2020 electoral votes for then-U.S. President Donald Trump, appeared before a state judge and pleaded not guilty on Friday.

Eastman, 64, joined others, including former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, in plotting to assemble a slate of pro-Trump electors who falsely claimed to represent Arizona’s legitimate electoral votes.

More accused individuals will face arraignment next week. This case arises from Trump and his allies’ attempts to pressure election officials in multiple states to overturn the presidential election results won by Democrat Joe Biden. Trump and Biden will compete again in the Nov. 5 election.

“I, of course, pled not guilty,” Eastman told reporters outside the court after Friday’s hearing. “I had zero communications with the electors in Arizona, zero involvement in any of the election litigation in Arizona or legislative hearings, and I’m confident that with the laws faithfully applied, I will be fully exonerated at the end of this process.”

In recent months, authorities have charged Republican officials and Trump allies in four states for falsely representing themselves as legitimate presidential electors to be tallied by Congress in its certification of the 2020 results. Giuliani’s spokesperson criticized the Arizona prosecution as political, while a lawyer for Meadows did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters on Friday.

Court papers list “a former U.S. president,” referring to Trump, as an unindicted co-conspirator, though Trump is not charged in the Arizona case.