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Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani surrenders in Georgia election case | CBC News

Rudy Giuliani surrendered to authorities in Georgia on Wednesday on charges alleging he acted as former U.S. president Donald Trump’s chief co-conspirator in a plot to subvert the 2020 election.

The former New York City mayor, celebrated as “America’s mayor” for his leadership after 9/11, is charged with Trump and 17 other people under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

His bond has been set at $150,000 US, second only to Trump’s $200,000 US. 

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 favourable 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 favour of his Democratic rival Joe 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 alternative slate of pro-Trump electors. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has said that, if convicted, Giuliani will be sentenced to prison.

Giuliani has denied wrongdoing, arguing he had a right to raise questions about what he believed to be election fraud. He has called the indictment “an affront to American democracy” and an “out and out assault on the First Amendment.”

“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 as he left his apartment in New York on Wednesday, adding that he is “fighting for justice” and has been since he first started representing Trump.

Donald Trump in a red baseball hat that says "make America great again".
Trump is expected to turn himself in to officials in Georgia on Thursday. (AFP/Getty Images)

Trump expected to surrender tomorrow

Trump was set to turn himself in on Thursday to face his fourth criminal indictment this year. The remaining 10 co-defendants named in the Georgia indictment have until Friday to surrender. Willis’s team has been negotiating bond amounts and conditions with the lawyers for the defendants before they surrender.

Trump has called his four indictments politically motivated.

Attorney Sidney Powell, who played a leading role in promoting Trump’s false fraud claims, was also booked at the jail on Wednesday, according to records posted on the county sheriff’s website, with a $100,000 US bond set for her. 

Woman with shoulder length dark hair standing before an American flag
Attorney Sidney Powell was booked in connection to the same case Wednesday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Trump campaign attorney Kenneth Chesebro, indicted for allegedly helping to devise a plan to submit fake slates of electors for Trump to obstruct the congressional certification, turned himself in at the Fulton County sheriff’s office on Wednesday, jail records showed.

Ray Smith, a lawyer who previously represented Trump in Georgia, also surrendered Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Trump’s former lawyer John Eastman and Republican poll watcher Scott Hall surrendered while former Georgia Republican Party leaders Cathy Latham and David Shafer — were booked overnight, according to the jail.

Fight to move case to federal court

Shafer, Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark have filed petitions to have their cases moved to federal court.

Willis’s team urged a judge on Wednesday to reject the requests from Meadows and Clark to avoid having to be booked in jail while they fight to move the case.

Giuliani criticized the indictment of lawyers 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.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to two sets of federal criminal charges brought by Jack Smith, a special counsel named by Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, concerning the efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss and his possession of classified documents after leaving office. Trump also pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan case involving hush money paid before the 2016 election to a porn star.

Grey haored man wearing a dark suit and red tie speaks into a microphone
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, seen here in October 2020, is fighting to have the case against him moved to federal court. (Al Drago/Reuters)

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