6 Nevada Republicans indicted as electors for Donald Trump in 2020

Nevada became the third state to indict Republican electors for Donald Trump, along with Georgia and Michigan.


Six Nevada Republicans − including the state party chairman − who claimed to be presidential electors for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, were indicted Wednesday for falsely submitting documents to Congress and state officials.

The charges, announced by state Attorney General Aaron Ford, marked the latest legal consequences for what prosecutors have called a Republican scheme to send the names of “fake electors” to Congress to thwart the certification of President Joe Biden’s election.

“We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged,” Ford said 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.”

Three states – Nevada, Michigan and Georgia – have charged fake electors.

Trump supporters in seven states recruited fake electors under what he and legal advisers said was a plan to keep his options open in case he won court challenges to election results in those states.

Trump himself was not charged in the Nevada indictment. The former president − and current GOP frontrunner − has pleaded not guilty in the Georgia election racketeering case. One of Trump’s Georgia co-defendants, lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, helped develop the fake electors strategy. Cheseboro has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false documents.

The six signed certificates falsely stating that Trump had won Nevada, and sent them to in 2020 and sent them to Congress and the National Archives, the U.S. Senate president, the National Archives, the Nevada secretary of state and a U.S. District Court in Nevada. Biden carried the state, 50.6% to Trump’s 47.7%.

The Nevada indictment charges the defendants with offering a false instrument for filing and “uttering” a forged document.

The electors charged are state Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, Jim DeGraffenreid,  Jesse Law, Durward James Hindle III, Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice.

What are fake electors?

Electors met in state capitals across the country on Dec. 14, 2020, part of a perfunctory task every four years when the Electoral College of voters confirm who won the presidency. But within days of election, Trump’s legal advisers developed the strategy envisioning GOP electors to support Trump in states Biden had won.

The plan was for then-Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as Senate president, to reject Electoral College votes from states that supported Biden and flip them to Trump when Congress tallied the votes Jan. 6, 2021.

The scheme hinged on recruiting alternate slates of electors despite restrictions in state law that one of its legal architects called “extremely problematic” in Nevada and “somewhat dicey” in Georgia.

Testimony to the House committee that investigated the Capitol attack revealed steps the participants took.

Meehan, said in a message Dec. 13 that McDonald, the state party chairman, was concerned about national party leaders urging them to change the location of their meeting − and to not invite a crowd.

“He’s very concerned RNC will cut cord if it looks bad and steal credit if we do well,” Meehan said of McDonald. DeGraffenreid responded: “I know. He’s concerned that we look like foolish crybabies. Have tried to explain.”

The Nevada Republican Party tweeted out the results of the meeting with a picture of the alternate electors.

“Our brave electors standing up for what is right and casting their electoral votes for @realDonaldTrump,” said the tweet with a picture of the electors. “We believe in fair elections and will continue the fight against voter fraud in the Silver State!”

“History made today in Carson City, Nevada, as @McDonaldNV leads our electors in casting Nevada’s 6 electoral votes for the winner of Nevada, @realDonaldTrump and @Mike_Pence!” said another tweet.

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