Rudy Giuliani, a campaign lawyer for Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty in a court filing Friday to Georgia racketeering charges alleging he tried to help Trump steal the 2020 election.
Giuliani and 18 co-defendants were indicted Aug. 14 on a combined 41 charges. By entering a plea through a court filing, he avoided needing to appear Sept. 6 at a scheduled arraignment hearing. Giuliani is free on $150,000 bond pending trial.
Other co-defendants have already filed written pleas of not guilty and waived their rights to a hearing. Trump, Sidney Powell, Trevian Kutti, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis, Scott Hall and Ray Smith each filed written pleas.
Giuliani said that because of the breadth and complexity of the indictment, he requested at least 30 days after receiving a copy of all evidence in the case to file motions potentially challenging the evidence. Georgia law typically calls for motions to be filed within 10 days of arraignment.
Besides the racketeering count, Giuliani was charged with three counts of soliciting lawmakers to violate their oath of office, three counts of making false statements, and six conspiracy counts dealing with forgery and false statements for the recruitment of fake electors.
The indictment cites Giuliani, along with Trump lawyers Ellis and Powell, for falsely claiming election fraud in Georgia and other states during a news conference Nov. 19, 2020, at the Republican National Committee headquarters.
Giuliani made false claims about election fraud in a series of December 2020 meetings with Georgia lawmakers, according to the indictment. Giuliani claimed felons and dead people cast ballots. He also alleged election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss were illegally counting ballots at State Farm Arena on election night.
A federal judge ruled Aug. 30 that Giuliani defamed Freeman and Moss and sanctioned him to pay their legal fees. Their civil trial for damages is still pending.