Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and a personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, turned himself in at a jail in Atlanta on Wednesday, facing 13 charges related to his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Giuliani, who was accompanied by his lawyers, was released on a $150,000 bond and put on several restrictions, including prohibitions against contacting other co-defendants or witnesses, and leaving the state without permission. He is scheduled to appear in court on September 7.
Giuliani is one of 19 defendants in the case, which was brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The indictment accuses Giuliani and others of conspiring to interfere with the administration of the election, soliciting state lawmakers to violate their oaths of office, and making false statements to the public and the courts.
The indictment alleges that Giuliani made false claims of election fraud in three meetings with Georgia lawmakers during December 2020, including falsely claiming that mail-in ballots were incorrectly counted, that election workers were stealing votes, and that felons and dead voters cast ballots.
Giuliani denied any wrongdoing and called the indictment “a travesty” and “an attack on the American people”. He said he was exercising his First Amendment right to advocate for his client and challenge the election results. He also said he spoke with Trump on Wednesday and wished him well. Trump, who is also indicted in the case, is expected to surrender on Thursday.
Giuliani’s arrest marks a dramatic fall from grace for the former prosecutor who gained national fame for his leadership after the 9/11 attacks. He also faces legal troubles in New York, where his law license was suspended for making false statements about the election. He is also under federal investigation for his dealings with Ukraine.
The case in Georgia is seen as a test of the state’s ability to hold accountable those who sought to undermine its democratic process. Willis, who is the first Black woman to serve as Fulton County’s top prosecutor, said she was pursuing justice and not politics. She has faced threats and criticism from some Trump supporters but also received support from civil rights groups and faith leaders.
The trial is expected to begin in early 2024. If convicted, Giuliani could face up to 20 years in prison.