CRIME

Nevada grand jury indicts six pro-Trump 2020 fake electors

Dec 6, 2023, 3:44 PM

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he departs a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Ce...

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he departs a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Center on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada grand jury on Wednesday indicted six Republicans who submitted certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election in their state, making Nevada the third to seek charges against so-called “fake electors.”

“We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged,” Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement Wednesday. “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 fake electors — involved in the state GOP or Clark County GOP — have been charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument. Those two categories of felonies have penalties that range from one year up to either four or five years in prison.

In December 2020, the six Republicans signed certificates falsely stating that Trump won Nevada and sent them to Congress and the National Archives, where they were ultimately ignored. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol looked into the role these fake electors in key battleground states took in Trump’s attempt to cling to power after his 2020 defeat.

Michigan’s Attorney General filed felony charges in July against 16 Republican fake electors, who would face eight criminal charges including forgery and conspiracy to commit election forgery, though one had charges dropped after reaching a cooperation deal. The top charge carried a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

More Michigan Republicans accused of being fake electors for Trump plead not guilty

In Wisconsin, 10 Republicans who posed as electors settled a civil lawsuit Wednesday, admitting their actions were part of an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory. Sixteen fake electors also have been charged in Georgia, three of which were also charged in August alongside Trump in a sweeping indictment accusing them of participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally overturn the results of the presidential election. They have pleaded not guilty.

Ford began investigating fake electors in Nevada last month. That announcement marked a shift for the first-term Democrat, who previously was quiet on whether he would investigate the fake electors before saying that state law did not directly address whether he could pursue charges.

Among the fake electors is Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald, who has pushed to bypass the state-run presidential primary to nominate a Republican presidential nominee, instead opting for a party-run caucus, which would require voter ID and paper ballots.

He has remained a staunch ally of Trump, opening for the former president at a rally in Las Vegas by saying, “You give us a fair election, I’ll give you the next president of the United States — Donald J. Trump.” Trump and his attorneys also had a direct hand in the planning and execution of the fake elector scheme, including a conference call with McDonald, transcripts released last year show.

McDonald did not respond to a phone calls and a text message requesting comment on Wednesday.

Clark County GOP Chair Jesse Law was also indicted, along with Jim Hindle, who runs elections in rural Storey County. Hindle did not return a voice message left Wednesday requesting comment.

Ford had testified in support of a bill that would have criminalized future fake electors. That passed Nevada’s Democratic-controlled Legislature but was vetoed by Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who said the punishment between four and 10 years in prison was too harsh.

___

AP writers Kate Brumback contributed reporting from Atlanta, and Joey Cappelletti contributed reporting from Lansing, Michigan. Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a program that places journalists in local newsrooms. Follow Stern on X, formerly Twitter: @gabestern326.

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 photo, containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored ...

Associated Press

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law.

3 hours ago

FILE - The residence where a former funeral home owner kept a deceased women's body in a hearse for...

Associated Press

A former funeral home owner has been arrested after a corpse lay in a hearse for 2 years

A former funeral home owner accused of hiding a woman's corpse in the back of a hearse for two years and hoarding the cremated remains of at least 30 people has been arrested, authorities said.

4 hours ago

This image provided by the Denver Police Department shows Miles Harford. Denver police are asking f...

Associated Press

Denver police search a former funeral home owner who kept the cremated remains of at least 30 people

Denver police are asking for the public's help in finding a former funeral home owner who they say kept a woman's body in a hearse for two years and also kept the cremated remains of at least 30 people.

1 day ago

Sandy police car...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com and Garna Mejia, KSLTV.com

Sandy man charged with shooting family member with BB gun, then killing his dog

A man in Sandy is accused of shooting his uncle with a BB gun and setting a room on fire, killing his uncle's dog.

1 day ago

Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Self Portrait with a Straw Hat" is displayed at the exhibit "Vincent V...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

California man accused of defrauding Utah woman with fake van Gogh, Dali, Monet paintings

A California jeweler is accused of defrauding a Utah woman out of hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry, watches and other items by giving her paintings he said were made by Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali and Claude Monet but turned out to be fake.

1 day ago

generic emergency lights...

Eliza Pace

Utah Airbnb host charged with sexually assaulting renter

A man was charged with sexually assaulting a 58-year-old woman who was staying at his Airbnb. 

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Nevada grand jury indicts six pro-Trump 2020 fake electors