Arizona respondent Christina Bobb is a key member of the RNC's Election Integrity Team

When conservative attorney and media personality Christina Pop became the latest member of Donald Trump's inner circle to be indicted for her role in trying to sway the results of the 2020 presidential election, it became immediately clear that she didn't have to quit her day job: Senior Counsel for the Republican National Committee's Election Integrity Committee.

To some, it's a certain irony — if not an outright irony — that someone who makes false claims that the 2020 election is riddled with fraud is playing a key role in the national GOP's efforts to preserve the integrity of the 2024 vote.

But not for Pope, and not for his closest associates — including Trump, who, through a spokesman, endorsed Pope by name as the only one of the 18 people indicted in Arizona on Wednesday. If anything, Bob's accusation cements his identity as a devoted Trump loyalist who fought hard to reverse his loss in a politically competitive state and raised his stake within the RNC to help him win in November.

“Another example of Democrats weaponizing the legal system,” said spokesman Steven Cheung. “Christina Popp is a former Marine Corps officer who served our country and the President with distinction. The Democratic Party's platform for 2024: If you can't beat 'em, try to put 'em in jail.

An Arizona grand jury on Wednesday indicted seven attorneys or aides associated with Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign and 11 Arizona Republicans who tried to get the state's electoral votes for Trump despite Joe Biden's victory. All, including Bob, face criminal charges related to their alleged efforts to subvert the decision. Other defendants include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and John Eastman, as well as campaign aides Boris Epstein and Mike Roman. Trump and others were named as unindicted co-conspirators.

A preliminary hearing for all the defendants is scheduled for May 21, a person familiar with the matter said, requesting the date not be released.

It's the fourth election-interference case brought by state or district attorneys against Trump associates, but the first against Bob, a Marine Corps lawyer and former judge who served as executive secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under Trump. Office then began a second stint as a reporter for the conservative network One America News. He volunteered to help Trump's legal team after the 2020 election and became an advocate for false claims of election fraud. While working for OAN, he focused heavily on a widely discredited post-election review of more than 2 million votes cast in Arizona's most populous state. Bob later wrote a book, “Stealing Your Vote: The Inside Story of the 2020 Election and What It Means for 2024.”

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Bob has been dragged into an unrelated federal investigation into alleged illegal handling of classified documents after Trump left the White House. As the custodian of some of those records, Bob signed a document saying he was told “a diligent search” was conducted on boxes of records sent from the White House to Florida when Trump left office.

According to the Arizona indictment, Bob advocated an electoral strategy in key battlegrounds where Trump lost. He also encouraged Trump's electors to visit, vote for Trump, and send certified records of their votes to Washington, allowing Congress to count Trump's electoral votes instead of Biden's.

On January 6, 2021, Bob testified to a House committee investigating the attack on the US capitol that he only heard about the election plan that voters had met “a little while ago, probably a day or two ago”.

According to a December 12, 2020, email from Bob to the Trump campaign director, He participated in a campaign phone call that day in which plans to meet with random voters in seven states won by Biden, including Arizona, were discussed. The email was released as part of a House committee investigation.

“Here are my notes from the call,” Bob wrote, then listed the state of voter recruitment in each of the seven states.

“Arizona – all 11 electors ready to meet Monday,” he wrote. “There will be Kelly Ward. Access should not be a problem. AZ law does not require a specific location, so they can change location if the building closes.

During that time Bob interacted with several Republicans, in some cases sharing claims of fraud or improprieties that were ultimately proven false.

“On December 14th, the states of Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia designate Democratic electors to vote for Biden,” Pope wrote to campaign officials on December 13, 2020. “Each of these states has clearly demonstrable evidence of voter fraud significant enough to change the outcome of the election.

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Jan. 6, 2021, at the campaign's informal headquarters at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., as Trump-supporting mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol, where Bob stood with Giuliani.

Bob declined an interview request from the Post.

Bob moved into his new role at the RNC in March, shortly after the Trump campaign cleaned house among the GOP's top political team, firing longtime operatives and encouraging others to leave voluntarily. He's part of a new department within the RNC that includes lawyers and political operatives focused solely on election integrity. Their jobs include making sure state and local election officials are following the law — and filing lawsuits where they believe they aren't — and training tens of thousands of activists to volunteer as volunteers and poll observers in battleground states.

“Having its own permanent department within the RNC is a real game changer,” said Josh Helton, an attorney and senior adviser on election integrity for the RNC, in a February podcast. Helton did not respond to a request for comment this week. provides.”

Some who left said they feared the party's new electoral-integrity move, particularly among populists, would lead them to embrace baseless conspiracy theories that would alienate more moderate Republicans.

“That's a bad job,” Robin Vos, the Republican speaker of the Wisconsin Legislature, said in a televised interview about Pope's new job. “Christina Pop is part of a fringe element that I don't think will help build credibility not just in our party, but in the entire country.”

Former senior Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon said in an interview Thursday that he recommended to the Trump team that Bob and others with strong ties to the election integrity movement be hired at the RNC. Willingness to fight – Someone who is going to contest elections everywhere.

Bannon said that by having direct access to Trump by phone, Bob would be a direct link between the RNC and the former president, taking his input and sharing internal strategy with him. But it could cut both ways if Pop pushes toward legal scrutiny of the party's election integrity measures, several GOP operatives said candidly on condition of anonymity.

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Until 2018, the RNC operated under a federal consent decree that barred the committee from Election Day activities resulting from 1982. Democrats have accused the group of trying to discourage black voters from voting through targeted mailers and stationing armed, off-duty officers at polling stations in minority neighborhoods.

“What we're worried about is that Christina Popp goes rogue and does something dumb and we're thrown back into the confirmation decree,” said one GOP strategist.

If volunteers or campaign workers misbehave, “Mark Elias and his well-funded allies are going to try to get the endorsement back, and that's something we should all be worried about,” another GOP operative said, referring to the Democratic election lawyer.

However, another activist said the new group is well aware of that risk and plans to carefully train activists to avoid legal trouble. The reason the party has built such a large electoral-integrity operation is because the mandate of consent has expired. Nobody wants to blow it, the person said.

Last Friday, the party announced plans to recruit 100,000 activists across the country to work as poll observers, poll workers or lawyers who can watch or participate in the election process. Already, the party has more than 75 cases pending against election administrators across the country challenging or defending various election norms.

The operation targets seven key battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“President Trump has said that the Republican victory in November must be too big to be rigged,” RNC attorney Charlie Spies said in a statement at the time of the announcement. “The Political Caucus will work to ensure a huge victory for Republicans at all levels, and the RNC is committed to ensuring that Legislature cannot rig victory.”

Meanwhile, plenty of Trump allies are rallying around Pope. “This is a bogus, bulls— allegation,” said senior Trump campaign adviser Chris Lacivita. “Christina Popp served her country with honor as a United States Marine Corps officer, served her President and is an expert in dealing with election integrity.”

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