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Eastman Is First Trump Ally Arraigned in Arizona Election Case

John Eastman, a lawyer who advised Donald J. Trump’s 2020 election campaign, was arraigned in Phoenix on Friday on state criminal charges that he helped try to keep Mr. Trump in power after he lost the last presidential election.

Mr. Eastman is the first of 18 defendants to come before a judge in the Arizona case, which was brought by Kris Mayes, the state attorney general. Mr. Eastman faces charges of fraud, forgery and conspiracy.

Several other prominent defendants in the case are scheduled to be arraigned next week, including Boris Epshteyn, who remains one of Mr. Trump’s top legal advisers, and Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, formerly Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, has also been charged in the case.

The arraignment of Mr. Eastman took place at a large courthouse complex in Phoenix Friday morning. Mr. Eastman appeared briefly before a judge and pleaded not guilty.

“I’m confident that with the laws faithfully applied, I will be fully exonerated,” he said afterward.

When she filed the charges last month, Ms. Mayes, a Democrat, said: “I will not allow American democracy to be undermined. It’s too important.”

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