"Fixed up": Rudy Giuliani pressured Arizona official to find "a nice way to resolve this" election

Report: In a Christmas Eve call, Giuliani left a message for an Arizona official and called the election "a shame"

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published May 24, 2021 11:39AM (EDT)

President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani looks at his cellphone outside the White House on the South Lawn (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani looks at his cellphone outside the White House on the South Lawn (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani reportedly called up an Arizona state official to get the 2020 general election "fixed up" in Trump's favor, according to an Arizona Republic report on Sunday. 

Giuliani dialed Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, a lifelong Republican who has expressed staunch opposition to the recent trajectory of his party, on Christmas Eve and left a voice message. 

"Bill, it's Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer," Giuliani reportedly said in the message he left Gates. "If you get a chance, would you please give me a call? I have a few things I'd like to talk over with you. Maybe we can get this thing fixed up. You know, I really think it's a shame that Republicans sort of are both in this, kind of, situation. And I think there may be a nice way to resolve this for everybody." 

In mid-December, Arizona state Republicans subpoenaed the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors over fears that the election was "stolen" from Trump, asking for images of all the mail-in ballots submitted during the 2020 election. At the time, county officials had already performed a bipartisan audit by hand and came up with a 100% match. Maricopa County supervisors refused to comply with the subpoena and instead sued.

"Let's be clear," Gates said at the time. "These subpoenas that have been issued and are before this body are truly extraordinary in the breadth of information that they're looking for. As a conservative, I feel strongly about individual private information, of individuals, of voters. I'm going to fight to protect that information before we turn it over." 

Gates told the Arizona Republic that he did not return Giuliani's call, saying, "We don't do what is easy, we do what is right."

In January, Trump pulled a similar stunt to Giuliani's when he personally called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking the secretary to "find" 11,780 uncounted votes that would overturn the 2020 election results in his favor. Raffensperger did not ultimately comply with Trump's request. That call is now being investigated by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on suspicion of election tampering. 

Despite the fact that Maricopa County has already conducted two dispositive election audits following the election, it has remained the centerpiece of GOP's latest election lies.

Back in early April, the Republican-majority Arizona Senate announced that it would be conducting a full manual recount of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County over baseless fears that 2020 election results were riddled with fraud. A Florida-based cybersecurity firm known as Cyber Ninjas, which has no apparent experience in election auditing and was not known by any members of the Arizona legislature, is leading the audit. Doug Logan, the firm's owner, is QAnon conspiracy theorist and a known supporter of the "Stop the Steal" movement. 

Last week, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs suggested that the tabulation machines were not secure in the hands of Cyber Ninjas.

"I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was done to the machines while under Cyber Ninjas' control," she said, adding that she might "decertify" the results of the audit if necessary. 

"It's time to say enough is enough," Gates echoed last week. "It is time to push back on the 'big lie.' We must do this. We must do this as a member of the Republican Party, we must do this as a member of the Board of Supervisors. We need to do this as a country."

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik was a former staff writer at Salon.

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