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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has not been indicted by the state’s Senate. The Senate has no authority to indict anyone.
The claim is based on a discredited presentation at a February legislative hearing. The House member responsible for the presentation was expelled.
Social media users are citing a discredited presentation from an Arizona Legislature elections committee hearing to push a baseless claim that Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs was indicted by the state’s Senate.
A Sept. 24 TikTok video shared a screenshot of an X post that read, "BREAKING: Arizona Senate has laid out RICO indictments against Katie Hobbs and others in violation of RICO ACT-13-2301, including bribery, racketeering, money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, aiding and abetting the Sinaloa Cartel, and election fraud." (RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.)
The TikTok video had nearly 50,000 likes by Sept. 29. The screenshot it shared was from a since-deleted Sept. 24 X post by Leading Report, an account that calls itself a breaking news source and has previously spread misinformation. We found no story about Hobbs being indicted on Leading Report’s website.
TikTok identified this video as part of its efforts to counter inauthentic, misleading or false content. (Read more about PolitiFact's partnership with TikTok.)
(Screengrab from TikTok)
"No, there has been no indictment of Governor Hobbs and the Arizona Senate does not hold the power to indict anyone," Richie Taylor, communications director for Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, wrote in an email.
Calli Jones, the Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus’ communications director, also said in an email that the Senate has no such power, and the point was echoed in a post on X by Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who called the claim "FAKE NEWS."
In Arizona, indictments are handed down by grand juries, not state legislators. Prosecutors can file charges or present a case to a grand jury, which would, if jurors agree there is sufficient evidence, formalize their findings and issue an indictment, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
The TikTok video, and others who shared the claim on social media, linked the allegation to a presentation at a February Elections Committee hearing in the Arizona Legislature. There, Jacqueline Breger, an insurance agent from Scottsdale, made several unfounded allegations, including that Hobbs and other public officials had accepted bribes from the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
We rate the claim that Arizona "indicted’ Hobbs Pants on Fire!
X post, Sept. 28, 2023
X post, Sept. 23, 2023
X post, Sept. 28, 2023
Richie Taylor, communications director for Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, email exchange, Sept. 29, 2023
Calli Jones, communications director for the Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus, email exchange, Sept. 29, 2023
Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers, X post, Sept. 24, 2023
Shouse Arizona Law Group, Grand Jury Indictment in Arizona Criminal Law Cases, accessed Sept. 29, 2023
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Adult Criminal Trial Process, accessed Sept. 29, 2023
Fox 10 Phoenix, Arizona State House members vote to expel GOP's Liz Harris, April 12, 2023
12 News Arizona, Election conspiracy gets high profile hearing at state capitol, Feb. 27, 2023
The New York Times, Arizona House Republicans Expel One of Their Own, April 12, 2023
The Associated Press, Arizona House expels GOP lawmaker over unproven claims, April 12, 2023
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