According to a reliable source, Nevada’s attorney general is currently conducting an investigation into six Republican electors who submitted a document to Congress falsely claiming that Donald Trump had won the 2020 presidential election. The nature of the ongoing probe, whether criminal or civil, remains unclear.
This investigation adds to the scrutiny already faced by fake electors in several swing states, including Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona, which were won by President Joe Biden in the election. In Georgia and Michigan, individuals have already been charged for acting as fake electors. Furthermore, former President Trump is facing charges in both Georgia and an ongoing federal investigation into his conduct during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
The individual providing this information to the Associated Press spoke on the condition of anonymity and was not authorized to speak publicly. Politico and NBC News were the first to report on the existence of this investigation. Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, did not respond to requests for comment. Previously, he had expressed that his office was cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department investigation into efforts to retain Trump in office. Ford had refrained from making any comments due to concerns about being perceived as partisan, as stated to the Democratic Attorneys General Association in January.
Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, a Republican, vetoed a bill last June that had been passed by the Democratic-led Legislature. The bill aimed to make it a felony to falsely certify the victory of a losing candidate in an election. Among the individuals who acted as false electors in 2020 were Michael McDonald, the current state GOP chairman, Jim DeGraffenreid, a national party committee member, Jesse Law, the Clark County party chair, and Shawn Meehan, a national and Douglas County committee member. All declined to comment. McDonald had introduced Trump at an October rally in Las Vegas and had advocated for changing the Nevada GOP’s nominating caucus to benefit the former president. The GOP caucuses are scheduled to take place on February 8, two days after a state-mandated primary.
Efforts made by the Associated Press to reach the remaining two fake electors, Durward James “Jim” Hindle III and Eileen Rice, located in northern Nevada, were unsuccessful. Brian Hardy, an attorney involved in the case, stated that these individuals have no comment. Transcripts from closed-door testimony before the U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 attack revealed that the six electors had convened on December 14, 2020, in Carson City.
During this meeting, they had agreed to send an electoral certificate to Congress, hoping to allocate Nevada’s six electoral votes to Trump and maintain his hold on the presidency. However, Biden had won Nevada by approximately 30,000 votes. Democratic electors in the state, led by Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, went on to certify the results. Cegavske defended the reliability and accuracy of the results, resulting in her censure by the state Republican Party. She later conducted an investigation that found no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud in the state. Term limits prevented her from seeking re-election. McDonald and DeGraffenreid were among those who testified before the House committee.
Various government and independent investigations have consistently found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have impacted the outcome of the election in favor of Biden. Despite this, Trump has continued to spread false claims about the 2020 election.