Facts Matter: Agent serving papers to Giuliani didn’t first sing to former mayor

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was served a notice of indictment last week as a result of an April decision by an Arizona grand jury to charge 11 Republicans and seven aides to former President Donald Trump in an attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in that state.

Giuliani had eluded attempts by Arizona prosecutors to serve the papers, and he appeared to mock state officials in a social media post on a day he also livestreamed his 80th birthday celebration on YouTube.

“If Arizona authorities can’t find me by tomorrow morning: 1. They must dismiss the indictment; 2. They must concede they can’t count votes,” he wrote in a May 17 X post.

And that was the day officials caught up with him. Hours after Giuliani’s post, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes wrote on X, “The final defendant was served moments ago. @RudyGiuliani nobody is above the law.”

Days later, a photo in a social media post appeared to show an Arizona official, circled in red, standing among the crowd singing to Giuliani.

“So when Rudy Giuliani was celebrating his 80th birthday and taunting Arizona officials online about being successful at hiding out from them serving indictment documents, a U.S. marshal had already inserted himself into Giuliani’s party and was eating cake. Here he is singing happy birthday, just moments before dropping the documents on Rudy,” reads the caption on the May 19 Instagram post.

But the man in that photo is misidentified, according to USA Today. The Arizona officials serving the notice were not among those serenading the former mayor.

Arizona Attorney General’s office spokesperson Richie Taylor told USA Today the man identified in that photo is not one of the two agents who served the notice, adding that they were not U.S. marshals.

“Our agents did not enter the party. They waited to serve Mr. Giuliani outside after he left,” Taylor said.

Mayes said during an interview on CNN that the livestreams by Giuliani helped agents from the attorney general’s office to locate him.

Giuliani has pleaded not guilty to all nine felony charges in the indictment.

The former mayor actually turns 80 years old on May 28.

Judge didn’t bar witness from testifying

Former President Donald Trump, while leaving his criminal trial in which he’s accused of falsifying business records, stopped to claim the judge is preventing a witness for the defense.

“The expert witness that we have, the best there is in election law, Brad Smith, he’s considered the Rolls-Royce, or we’ll bring it back to an American car, Cadillac, but the best there is. He can’t testify. He’s not being allowed to testify,” Trump said.

But that’s false, according to The Associated Press. Smith is permitted to testify but the defense decided not to have him take the stand.

New York Judge Juan Merchan, in a pretrial ruling, said Smith could testify about the general background of the Federal Elections Commission but could not provide opinions on election law.

Smith posted on X that he would not be testifying.

“Judge Merchan has so restricted my testimony that defense has decided not to call me,” Smith wrote in a May 20 post.

Video not from recent flight

One person died and at least 71 others were injured on May 21 when a Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence. The Boeing 777-300ER airplane, which had taken off from London and was headed for Singapore, was diverted to Bangkok.

In a video making the rounds on social media, a woman on a plane is putting on a jacket when suddenly there is a jolt and people and items are flying around the cabin.

“Boeing again. One person is dead and others are injured after a Singapore Airlines flight from London struck ‘severe turbulence’ and was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok,” read text posted with the clip.

But this video isn’t from that tragic flight, according to PolitiFact. It’s nearly five years old.

The clip, uploaded June 17, 2019, shows an ALK Airlines flight from Kosovo to Switzerland in which 10 people were injured due to intense turbulence.

Wrong photo posted

Following worldwide inflation, some social media users took to the internet to highlight the pay increase of the CEO from the British retail and grocery chain Tesco.

“Tesco CEO Ken Murphy was getting £4,740,000 a year last year, but that wasn’t enough so he has more than doubled his salary to £9,930,000 a year,” read a Facebook post that included a photo of a man in a shirt and tie. In U.S. dollars, the salary went from more than $6 million to more than $12 million.

But that post is miscaptioned, according to Reuters. That’s not a photo of Murphy.

The person in the photo included with the post about Murphy is actually Richard Fletcher, business editor for the British newspaper The Times.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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