The chair of the Nevada Republican Party is among the six Republicans who were indicted by a Nevada grand jury on Wednesday for sending a false slate of electoral votes for Donald Trump to Congress after President Biden won the state in 2020.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced that each of the six false Trump electors face two felony charges, one charge of offering a false instrument for filing, a category C felony, and one charge of uttering a forged instrument, a category D felony. The indicted Republicans include Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald, state GOP vice chair Jim Hindle III, Clark County Republican Party chair Jesse Law, GOP national committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid, Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice.
The indictment was handed down by a grand jury in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County. Former Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, whose attorney said last week that he was cooperating with investigators, was listed as a witness in the indictment.
“When the efforts to undermine faith in our democracy began after the 2020 election, I made it clear that I would do everything in my power to defend the institutions of our nation and our state,” Ford, who launched his investigation earlier this fall, said in a statement. “We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged. Today’s indictments are the product of a long and thorough investigation, and as we pursue this prosecution, I am confident that our judicial system will see justice done.”
The Nevada attorney general joins officials in Michigan and Georgia in seeking charges against the Trump activists in their states who cast official-looking ballots for Trump — a document the Nevada indictment calls a “false instrument” titled “Certificate of the Votes of the 2020 Electors from Nevada” — on Dec. 14, 2020.
Even though Biden won in Nevada, the documents were sent to the Senate, the National Archives, the Nevada Secretary of State’s office and the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The false electoral votes from Nevada and other states were then used by Trump allies and MAGA Republicans in Congress to attempt to stop the certification of the election on Jan. 6, 2020.
We all know the story from there.
Federal prosecutors reportedly gave two of the fake electors, McDonald and DeGraffenreid, limited immunity earlier this year in exchange for their testimony. Messages unearthed by TPM showed the two coordinating closely with Chesebro in the effort to create fake elector slates. Since then, McDonald has faced criticism for reportedly setting up the state Republican primary — featuring a dueling primary and caucus — in an effort to give Trump the upper hand.
Officials in Arizona and New Mexico are also reportedly looking into the fake electors schemes carried out in those states in 2020. Grand juries in Nevada and Michigan have thus far kept their charges focused on the false electors, whereas in Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis used the Dec. 14, 2020 gathering of false electors to help build her case that Trump and his co-defendants were all part of a vast “enterprise” attempting to illegally overturn the 2020 election.
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