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Arizona Is Close to Indicting the Fake Electors

One of the top projects for Arizona AG Kris Mayes (D), who has been on the job for a bit over a year now, has been going after Donald Trump's slate of fake electors. She is getting close. She has taken the unusual step of hauling them all in front of a grand jury to testify. They all took the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any questions. Prosecutors typically don't put suspects before a grand jury because it could bias the grand jury members against them, especially when they clam up and won't answer any questions. Members may be secretly thinking: "If they are innocent, why don't they just answer all the questions honestly?"

Not all defense lawyers think this was a good move. Omer Gurion, who has defended other people facing the Arizona AG, said: "I would say this is highly unusual. Is it permissible? Yes. Is it a good idea? Definitely not." Most of the time, when targets tell prosecutors in advance that they plan to plead the Fifth, they are excused. So why did Mayes do this? She is not explaining, but one possibility is to scare the daylights out of the fake electors and get at least one of them to flip and incriminate all the others in return for a very light sentence, like 50 hours of community service.

The fake electors include some big fish, such as former state GOP chair Kelli Ward and two current state senators, Jake Hoffman and Anthony Kern. They are not likely to flip, but some of the minor players might.

Because forcing the targets to testify is so unusual, it might conceivably be grounds to try to get the likely indictment thrown out. On the other hand, it is definitely legal, just very aggressive. And it might yet work if one of the fake electors decided to save his or her neck by ratting out all the others. Who said psychological warfare was limited to military operations? (V)

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