FBI Seizes Nevada GOP Chair’s Phone In Escalation Of Fake Trump Elector Probe

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald speaks to people gathered to protest against the passage of a mail-in voting bill on August 4, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The FBI seized Nevada Republican Party chair Michael McDonald’s phone on Wednesday after executing a search warrant as part of the federal investigation into ex-President Donald Trump’s fake elector scheme, according to local news outlet 8 News Now.

McDonald was on the slate of so-called “alternate electors” that Trump planned on using in his plot to steal the 2020 election by having Joe Biden’s electors thrown out and replacing them with his fake ones.

The FBI also issued a search warrant on Wednesday for another top Nevada GOP official who served as a sham Trump elector: state party secretary James DeGraffenreid. However, agents reportedly couldn’t find him.

McDonald and DeGraffenreid have already been subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 Committee.

The FBI’s seizure of McDonald’s phone on Wednesday happened on the same day the Justice Department issued at least four other grand jury subpoenas — reportedly an expansion of the scope of its fake elector investigation, according to the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The subpoenas were reportedly issued to people who agreed to participate in Trump’s bogus elector plot. Two of them went to fake electors: Georgia GOP chair David Shafer and a Georgia lawyer named Brad Carver who’s also a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association.

The other two subpoenas reportedly went to Thomas Lane, a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, and Shawn Flynn, a Trump campaign official in Michigan.

The timing of the search warrant for McDonald’s phone and the subpoenas coincides with the FBI telling the Post that agents had, in the Post’s words, “conducted court-authorized law enforcement activity Wednesday morning at different locations.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: