Anything but Honest
Abraham Hamadeh has made a habit of misleading voters or straight up lying about his background and experience, according to personnel records.
Housekeeping note: This is very likely the longest post I will do for Fourth Estate 48. I am not planning to write anything more about political races this cycle (unless somebody pays me to freelance for them). So after today, I will return to strictly documents-based posts.
Abraham Hamadeh, a 31-year-old Republican running to be the next Arizona attorney general, said he’s handled “dozens of trials,” but according to a public database and two of his personnel files, that claim appears to be untrue.
Hamadeh, an unvetted first time candidate, has developed a pattern of lying or misleading voters, which makes his campaign slogan of “Honest Abe” seem a tad ironic.
I obtained Hamadeh’s personnel files from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Tucson City Prosecutor’s Office where he worked his only full-time legal job and an unpaid internship, respectively.
In his file for the MCAO it confirms the speculation that Hamadeh truly only worked there for roughly three years. Hamadeh was employed there two months after passing the Bar exam in May 2017 and did not resign until September 2021.
Hamadeh admitted in his September 2021 resignation letter that he did not step foot in the office since he was deployed in July 2020 –– 14 months earlier. That means for 14 months while deployed in Saudi Arabia, Hamadeh was not handling any legal work, let alone stepping foot in a court room.
All told, he only practiced law at MCAO for about 2 years and 10 months.
On top of that, Maricopa County prosecutors –– when joining the MCAO –– sit through a one-year probationary period to begin their employment. During this time, a supervisor wrote that Hamadeh helped on several trials, but eAccess, a site dedicated to tracking cases searchable by attorney or other information factors, shows Hamadeh may not have actually been directly involved in any trials during his short tenure.
I reached out to his supervisor for some clarification on is his claim that “Abe has conducted one jury trial, multiple bench trials and numerous evidentiary hearings,” referencing eAccess showing otherwise.
The supervisor refused to comment on that or on Hamadeh’s AG candidacy.
Hamadeh’s own website actually softens what he has claimed in interviews about working on dozens of trials. His website says he “appeared in court to prosecute criminals, uphold victims’ rights, and seek justice for the community.”
“Appeared in court” is not the same as actually handling the trials and sounds purposely vague.
What’s more, Hamadeh claimed in his resume for the MCAO job that he, “prosecuted ten misdemeanor bench trials … [and] Prosecuted two misdemeanor jury trials,” while at the Tucson City Prosecutor’s Office.
Hamadeh was a “volunteer intern,” the office told me, meaning no, he did not prosecute any of the trials himself. Hamadeh also was not a licensed attorney at the time and wouldn’t be for another two years.
I attempted to get an interview with Hamadeh or his campaign for two weeks. After two emails, a phone conversation and several texts with Erica Knight, his spokeswoman, she told me he was “too busy” to talk.I sent the campaign 16 questions I had for Hamadeh. They did not respond.
Hamadeh has made a campaign tactic out of attacking the pressand accusing them of hating “minority Republicans” because of stories about Hamadeh’s past and family.
Two of the questions I sent Hamadeh’s campaign were:
Do you support the Freedom of the Press?
Do you think you are exempt from media criticism because you happen to be a “minority Republican?”
The stories in question that led to multiple Twitter tirades from the GOP nominee are pretty noteworthy, too.
Hamadeh seemingly admitted to committing real voter fraud in a Ron Paul message board as a teenager saying he voted his mom’s ballot for her when he wasn’t of age to vote himself.
I asked him how he, as the potential attorney general, would prosecute a case like this had it happened today. No response.
By all accounts, his supervisors thought highly of Hamadeh during his short time at the MCAO saying he has the potential to be a “valuable litigator and trial attorney.” But still barely spent any time in a courtroom as an attorney.
Hamadeh earned Donald Trump’s endorsement in part because he has been willing to campaign on the lie that the election was stolen from Trump. Hamadeh has on multiple occasions signaled he supports the bullshit “decertification” theory and that he would not have signed off on the 2020 election certification.
In that same Phoenix New Times story, it mentioned how an Illinois grand jury indicted Hamadeh’s father for allegedly firebombing a synagogue.
In 1994, a grand jury in Illinois indicted his father, jeweler Jamal Hamadah, on charges of conspiracy to commit arson after the Mikro Kodesh Anshe Tiktin synagogue was fire-bombed, according to the Chicago Reader. When he was arrested, Hamadah admitted to being in the U.S. illegally after overstaying a visitor's visa.
Hamadeh has not addressed this, but did mention his father coming here legally, he just happened to leave out the part about “overstaying” the visa.
Hamadeh’s father was later threatened with deportation, but a judge opted against it to not separate him from his family.
Immigration and election integrity are two foundations of Hamadeh’s campaign.
Years after his father’s alleged firebombing incident, Hamadeh took to message boards and said anti-semitic remarks about Jewish people saying [sic], “its good were targetting Arabs now, next will target Jews.”
His campaign told New Times, “Comments allegedly posted during his teenage years do not represent his current values and views.”
While this is a fair remark, it came from the campaign and not Hamadeh himself who has yet to show any growth or maturity as a person or that he has learned from his mistakes years ago.
Other related questions I sent his campaign:
You said you don’t think people should be judged based on what they’ve said as a teen. I agree with that on its face, but that also involves taking responsibility for past comments and showing some sign of growth in the years since they were said. Do you regret your comments you posted on that Ron Paul message board as a 16/17 year old about targeting Jews?
Your father was on the brink of deportation in the ‘90s until a judge ordered against it so as to not separate him from his family… How has that personal experience shaped your immigration platform if at all?
Hamadeh is currently under investigation with the U.S. Army Reserves, a spokesperson confirmed to me in August. They were mum on details, but the speculation is because Hamadeh did not include an important disclosure that he is not endorsed by the military in his campaign materials showing him in uniform. Though it’s possible there’s more they are looking into.
He came under fire for this again while simultaneously being accused of wearing a “costume.” At best, he was in fact wearing a costume and lied about it therefore he apparently would not need a disclosure (it still looks really bad since he would be misrepresenting himself). At worst, it’s not a “costume,” but he modified the uniform to show his first name, instead of his last, adding the “thin blue line” flag and then once again not disclosing he’s not backed by the military.
Hamadeh also weirdly posted a year-old video that he edited to make it seem like a man pointed a gun at an intruder to show his support for the Second Amendment. His video has over 1 million view now, but it wasn’t a gun, it wasn’t a recent video and didn’t take place in Arizona. All context was missing from his tweet.
Additionally, the Arizona Agenda reported back in May how Hamadeh hired an alleged rapist as a campaign consultant. Hamadeh, nor his campaign have addressed the hiring or subsequent firing of Cliff Maloney Jr, but still attempted to attack his Democratic opponent of her hiring practices.
As the Agenda wrote at the time:
That failure to vet employees raises questions of whether Hamadeh would ignore warning signs from employees at the Attorney General’s Office. And by attempting to sweep the Maloney problem under the rug, Hamadeh has shown a lack of transparency unbecoming of public office.
Lastly, he's faced scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats over his campaign finance reportsshowing a $1 million loan from his brother and campaign chair in his coffers on his Q1 report, but repaid it back four days after the period ended knowing it wouldn't be public until the next deadline on July 15 and earning Trump's endorsement in between. Hamadeh has yet to discuss this questionable tactic and of course his campaign would not respond to that question.
Hamadeh was listed as an attorney on 28 cases. Nine of them he joined after a guilty plea/dismissal, three cases were dismissed, one with prejudice and none went to trial. I struck through the nine and the dismissed cases are in bold.
Hamadeh has avoided speaking to local media since his primary win but has gone on the Steve Bannon podcast multiple times including on September 6. The same Bannon who was indicted two days later for money laundering, conspiracy and fraud charges relating to the border wall. Hamadeh was “too busy” for a KTAR interview his opponent participated in as well as a “debate” on 12 News.
In his Tucson City Prosecutor personnel file, Hamadeh listed writing an op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star as one of his “achievements” in his resume.
Hamadeh’s Dem opponent Kris Mayes also has not spent time as a trial attorney, but a big difference is she has practiced and taught law for a number of years and served in a quasi-judicial role as a Corporation Commissioner for seven years.
The attorney general is only there as a witness; the secretary of state is really the only signature that matters for certification.
Not to mention his financial disclosure form that failed to include vital information.
Last year, before Kris Mayes launched her campaign for AG, I spoke to her about political candidates not speaking to the media. She said you don’t have to like talking to reporters but you still need to do it. “If candidates are cutting off access to reporters, then they’re cutting off voters’ access to them, and that’s not good for democracy at all.” Mayes has done plenty of press conferences and media interviews.