Legal heavyweights defend 'alternate electors', Trump associates – Arizona Capitol Times

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Legal heavyweights defend 'alternate electors', Trump associates – Arizona Capitol Times

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Kiera Riley Arizona Capitol Times//June 7, 2024//
Legal heavyweights defend ‘alternate electors’, Trump associates
Christina Bobb, left, leaves Maricopa County Superior Court after her arraignment with attorney Thomas Jacobs as she joined at least 11 other people who were also arraigned on several charges in their role in an effort to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Arizona to Joe Biden Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Kiera Riley Arizona Capitol Times//June 7, 2024//
With most arraignments out of the way and the grand jury transcript and investigative materials handed off to defense attorneys in the criminal case against the so-called alternate electors, all but one defendant has secured counsel.
The lineup of defense attorneys for the 11 Arizona Republicans and 7 national advisers and attorneys for former president Donald Trump includes political litigation heavyweights, with attorneys’ past experiences spanning criminal defense, prosecution and civil litigation and hailing from county, state and federal law enforcement offices. Among them are a Trump-nominated former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, a Tucson attorney who argued a case that changed the way police can search vehicles, and an attorney who was on the defense team of the first person tried in connection to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack by terrorists.
Attorneys for Arizona Electors 

Andrew Pacheco

Andrew Pacheco, Attorney for Tyler Bowyer, RNC committeeman and chief operating officer of Turning Point USA
Pacheco is a current criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix.
During his time as a prosecutor for both offices, Pacheco focused on organized crime and gang cases. Pacheco also served as Criminal Division chief for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and ran for Maricopa County attorney in 2004, but lost the race to Andrew Thomas.

U.S.  Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake recommended Pacheco for U.S. attorney for Arizona in 2017 under Trump, but Trump ultimately appointed Michael Bailey.
Timothy La Sota, attorney for Sen. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek

Timothy La Sota

La Sota is a civil and election law attorney whose past experience includes working as a deputy Maricopa County attorney and as general counsel for the Arizona Corporation Commission.
As counsel for governors, members of Congress and the Donald Trump Presidential Campaign, La Sota warded off two legal efforts to remove Trump from the ballot in 2016 and 2023. He is currently serving as U.S Senate candidate Kari Lake’s counsel in the defamation case filed by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and  he’s representing former attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh in his ongoing 2022 election contest.

Dennis Wilenchik

Dennis Wilenchik, attorney for former U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon
Wilenchik boasts a current and former client list spanning multiple political administrations and jurisdictions.
Wilenchik is also defending Cochise County Supervisor Tom Crosby, who faces felony charges for his role in delaying the canvass of the 2022 election, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne in the federal challenge to the transgender sports ban. He recently tapped in as counsel for Lake in the defamation suit filed by Richer.
Wilenchik boasted a recent win at the Arizona Supreme Court for the Republican Party of Arizona where he saw significant sanctions based on “political reasons” reversed, and is currently representing Alan Dershowitz, who is serving as co-counsel in defending Lamon, in an appeal of sanctions at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
He has taken on such clients as former Attorney General Mark Brnovich, former Attorney General Grant Woods, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, former Sen. Jeff Flake, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Republican Party of Arizona
Wilenchik said he looks forward to obtaining an acquittal for Lamon.

Andrew Mercantel

Andrew Marcantel, attorney for Sen. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale
Marcantel, a criminal defense attorney for the Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm, a “radically pro-freedom” group led by 2022 libertarian candidate for Senate Marc Victor, is representing Kern. Marcantel has worked as a criminal defense attorney just shy of 10 years and defended clients in felony cases in both federal and state courts.

John Dosdall

John Dosdall, attorney for Nancy Cottle, chairperson of the Arizona Republican Presidential Electors 
Dosdall  worked as a former Maricopa County deputy county attorney, Pinal County deputy county attorney and assistant attorney general under Horne. He currently works at Jackson White Attorneys at Law in criminal defense with a focus on felony and misdemeanor offenses.

Jeffrey Cloud

Jeffrey Cloud, attorney for Samuel Moorhead, former second vice chair of the Gila County Republican Party
Cloud currently heads an Estate Planning and Asset Protection law practice and has previous experience in both civil and criminal law. Cloud formerly worked as a public defender and boasts extensive work in guardianship cases.

Joshua Kolsrud

Joshua Kolsrud, attorney for Loraine Pellegrino, secretary of the Arizona Republican Presidential Electors 
Kolsrud works as a federal defense attorney and formerly worked with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and as the senior trial attorney in the Coconino County Attorney’s Office. He then worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he handles cases on drug trafficking, illegal reentry, human trafficking, gun crimes and white collar crimes, and as a prosecutor in civil fraud cases.

Bradley Miller

Bradley Miller, attorney for Kelli Ward, former chair of the Republican Party of Arizona, and husband, Michael Ward 
Miller is a criminal defense attorney by trade, with experience on cases involving drug and sex crimes, white collar crimes and domestic violence. He has worked civil cases in both state and federal courts.
Miller worked as a deputy prosecutor in the special victims unit and previously served as chief of Staff for Pinal County in 2022. He’s currently  running for Pinal County attorney against incumbent Kent Volkmer.
Court-appointed Counsel 
The court appointed Richard Jones, of the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office, to represent  Gregory Safsten, former executive director of the Republican Party of Arizona, and Maurice Evans, of the Maricopa County Legal Defender’s Office, to represent Robert Montgomery, former chair of the Cochise County Republican Committee

Attorneys for Trump Associates 

Anne Chapman

Anne Chapman, attorney for Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff 
Chapman, a former assistant federal public defender, has more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense and was on the defense team of one of the nation’s most notorious defendant’s in U.S. history, Zacarias Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty in connection to his role in the Sept. 11 plot. Moussaoui got a life sentence after a jury refused to sentence him to death. Explaining what it was like to defend someone who had confessed to being a part of the deadliest attack in U.S. history, Chapman told National Public Radio in 2006 that she and her co-counsel were appointed to defend his constitutional rights and they did it to the best of their ability.  “And, you know, vigorous representation of people accused of a crime is a hallmark of our judicial system. I think we did that here, you know, even in the face of our greatest enemy. And I think that’s something that should make America proud, and it’s certainly something that makes me proud,” Chapman told NPR.
She currently serves as chair of the Capital Defense Review Committee of the Maricopa County Superior Court and works for Mitchell, Stein, Carey, Chapman Attorneys at Law.

Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey, attorney for Boris Epshteyn, an attorney and campaign adviser to Trump 
Bailey was nominated by Trump to serve as the U.S. Attorney for Arizona from 2019 to 2021. He previously served as the chief deputy of the Attorney General’s Office, where he served as Brnovich’s right hand man. He currently serves as general counsel for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Kurt Altman

Kurt Altman, attorney for Michael Roman, director of Election Day Operations for the Trump Campaign
Altman works as a criminal defense attorney by trade and prosecutorial reform director and Arizona and New Mexico state director of Right on Crime, a conservative criminal justice reform organization.
He’s currently representing indicted Cochise County Supervisor Peggy Judd in criminal proceedings for delaying the 2022 election canvass. And he previously served as a deputy Maricopa County attorney, assistant U.S. attorney and worked in the Department of Justice.
Altman is also a registered lobbyist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and formerly worked as director of national affairs, general counsel and chief national lobbyist for the Goldwater Institute.
Atman said his work in the intersection of policy and political law creates a “closer view” of the case.
“I’m familiar with a lot of the players,” Altman said. “I’m familiar with what was going on back at that time.”

Ashley Adams

Ashley Adams, attorney for John Eastman, lawyer and Trump ally 
Adams formerly served as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and now specializes in white collar criminal defense cases in both state and federal court as part of her criminal defense firm Adams and Associates. At past private firms the Phoenix Law Group and Ryan Rapp and Underwood, Adams specialized in governmental investigations and complex civil litigation.

Matthew Brown

Matthew Brown, attorney for Jenna Ellis, attorney for the Trump campaign 
Brown is a longtime criminal defense attorney with experience in felonies and criminal conspiracy.
Thomas Jacobs, attorney for Christina Bobb, attorney for the Trump campaign 

Thomas Jacobs

Jacobs is a longtime criminal defense attorney. He successfully argued Arizona v. Gant in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 that the Fourth Amendment placed limits on warrantless vehicle searches by police.
No Attorney 
Rudy Giuliani still lacks counsel but said at his arraignment on May 21 he was working on securing an attorney.
Defense Weighs In: What’s Next 
Though the case is in nascent stages, defense attorneys view the case as a politically motivated indictment and foresee the high likelihood of filing a motion to dismiss hinging on the state’s anti-SLAPP, or strategic actions against public participation, statute.
The anti-SLAPP law creates a right to file a motion to dismiss a suit on the grounds the legal action, incorporation civil actions, criminal prosecutions and any written investigative demand or regulatory or administrative action by a state actor,  was “substantially motivated by a desire to deter, retaliate against or prevent the lawful exercise of a constitutional right.” And if the responding party is a state actor, the party must show that the legal action is “justified by clearly established law and that the responding party did not act in order to deter, prevent or retaliate against the moving party’s exercise of constitutional rights.”

Arizona Republican state Sen. Anthony Kern, left, appears with his attorney for his arraignment on election conspiracy, forgery and fraud charges in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

The statute expressly highlights First Amendment rights, including the exercise of the right of petition, the right of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to freely associate or the right to peaceably assemble.
Jacobs, attorney for Ellis, said the actions taken by the alternate electors are protected by the constitutional right to petition and redress grievances.
“It’s really a statute that was tailor made for this kind of thing,” Jacobs said.“Because this is a political attack. This is not what I would call a legitimate indictment for criminal conduct … They’re trying to keep people from this kind of thing in the future. They want them to worry that if they challenge an election result, they can get indicted. They can get held on criminal charges, have to pay hundreds of thousands in attorneys fees. So this is intended to say, ‘look, I was exercising a legitimate constitutional right. I did not commit a crime. You indicted me for committing a crime. You owe me a dismissal and attorney’s fees and my cost of defending.’”
Jacobs said an anti-SLAPP motion would “certainly” be filed, but who files it and when is to be determined.
Prosecutor for the Attorney General’s Office Nicholas Klingerman said at an arraignment on May 21 the indictment was “absolutely not politically motivated.”
“This case went before an independent grand jury,” Klingerman said.
Beyond an anti-SLAPP motion, Adams, attorney for Eastman, said motions to remand, requests for complex case designations and potential plea deals could pop up in the coming weeks, and whether the case goes to trial for any of the defendants remains an open question.
Adams said the case will likely come down to intent.
“I think some of these folks honestly believe that there were problems, and they did what they thought was best in order to protect the integrity of the process,” Adams said. “Whether they were right or wrong in terms of their assessment, I’m not sure really matters. I think they ultimately believed that they were doing the right thing.”
Hoffman was arraigned June 6. Mark Meadows and Michael Roman are scheduled to appear June 7, and Lamon’s and Epshteyn’s arraignment are set for June 18.
The attorney general  shared initial disclosures and furnished the grand jury transcript and exhibits to defense attorneys on May 22, which they can view in the Clerk of the Court’s Office, per a court order.
With the first wave of investigative materials in hand, attorneys now prepare for the pretrial conference on July 2.

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