Trump’s Georgia co-defendant subpoenaed in Arizona election interference probe

Mike Roman has been summoned as part of the state attorney general’s investigation into the ‘alternate electors’ plot

Joe Sommerlad
Wednesday 27 March 2024 17:33 GMT
Related: Former vice president Mike Pence says he won't endorse Donald Trump for president in 2024

Mike Roman, Donald Trump’s former campaign aide and one of the 18 co-defendants in his sprawling racketeering case in Georgia, has been subpoenaed by Arizona officials as part of their criminal investigation into the alleged plot to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 win in the state.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has been overseeing the inquiry into the so-called “fake electors” scheme, which, had it not been foiled, would have seen groups of illegitimate state electors submitting false voting certificates to Congress and the National Archives declaring Mr Trump, not Mr Biden, as the election winner.

The Democrat is said to be nearing a decision on whether to bring charges against anyone involved, according to CNN.

Ms Mayes is understood to have principally centred her investigation around 11 pro-Trump “alternate” electors in Arizona and the organisers of the efforts to keep Mr Trump in power, despite his loss among voters.

But she has also been looking more broadly into possible ties between state officials and the former president’s national campaign, with witnesses routinely questioned about connections between local election staff and Mr Trump’s team.

“It’s robust. It’s a serious matter,” Ms Mayes told CNN of her work last year.

“We’re going to make sure that we do it on our timetable, applying the resources that it requires to make sure that justice is done, for not only Arizonans, but for the entire country.”

Another ally of Mr Trump’s, attorney Kenneth Chesebro – also a co-defendant in the Georgia case, where he reached a plea deal with prosecutors – has already sat voluntarily for an interview with investigators in Arizona in recent weeks.

The New York Times previously obtained a memo written by Mr Chesebro on 6 December 2020 in which he laid out a plan to install slates of alternate electors with the aim of preventing Mr Biden from amassing the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to secure the presidency.

Michael Roman in mug shot (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

Prosecutors described the memo as a strategy to “mimic as best as possible the actions of the legitimate Biden electors, and that on January 6, the vice president [would] open and count the fraudulent votes, setting up a fake controversy that would derail the proper certification of Biden as president-elect”.

Prosecutors in other swing states like Michigan and Nevada have already brought criminal charges against some of those who signed on as pro-Trump fake electors.

But Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Mr Trump, has dismissed the whole affair as a “witch hunt”.

“President Trump is dominating Crooked Joe Biden and his Democrat allies know it, so they continue to ramp up their ongoing witch hunts, further abusing the power of their offices to interfere in the presidential election,” he told ABC News in a statement.

“The American people will not fall for the Biden-directed hoaxes and will hold Crooked Joe and his comrades to account this fall.”

In the Georgia case, Mr Roman has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against him relating to his alleged efforts to help coordinate and appoint fake electors.

He also led the effort to have Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis removed from prosecuting that case over her romantic relationship with a fellow lawyer Nathan Wade. A judge rejected the bid for removal. However, Mr Wade has since stepped down from the case to dispel concerns around conflict of interest.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in