The Nevada Attorney General’s office is currently conducting an investigation into six Republican electors who falsely declared Donald Trump as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, according to a source familiar with the matter. It remains unclear whether the probe is criminal or civil in nature. This investigation adds to the existing scrutiny surrounding fake electors in swing states such as Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona, where President Joe Biden emerged victorious. Previous investigations have already resulted in charges against individuals in Georgia and Michigan, and former President Trump himself is facing charges in both Georgia and a federal investigation related to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
While the person who provided this information to The Associated Press requested anonymity, reports from Politico and NBC News have confirmed the existence of this investigation. Nevada’s Democratic Attorney General, Aaron Ford, has not commented on the matter, but he previously stated that his office is cooperating with a U.S. Justice Department investigation focused on efforts to retain Trump in office. Ford expressed concerns about being perceived as partisan while speaking before the Democratic Attorneys General Association last January.
Interestingly, Nevada’s Republican Governor, Joe Lombardo, vetoed a bill last June that would have made it a felony to falsely certify a losing candidate as the winner of an election. Notably, some of the individuals who served as false electors in 2020 include Michael McDonald, the current state GOP chairman, Jim DeGraffenreid, a national party committee member, Jesse Law, the chair of Clark County’s party, and Shawn Meehan, a national and Douglas County committee member. All of them declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Efforts to Influence the Nevada GOP caucuses
In an attempt to sway the outcomes of the Nevada GOP caucuses, McDonald played a crucial role in introducing Trump at an October rally in Las Vegas. This move garnered criticism from many Republicans who believed it was aimed at benefiting the former president. The caucuses are scheduled to take place on February 8, just two days after a state-mandated primary.
Efforts to contact Durward James “Jim” Hindle III and Eileen Rice, the other two individuals involved in the fake elector controversy, by the AP were unsuccessful. When approached for comment, Brian Hardy, an attorney involved in the case, stated that none of these individuals were willing to provide one.
On December 14, 2020, six electors convened in Carson City with the intention of submitting an electoral certificate to Congress. Their objective was to cast Nevada’s six electoral votes in favor of Trump, thereby trying to retain his presidency. Transcripts from closed-door testimonies presented to the U.S. House committee indicate these details. The committee had been conducting an investigation into the January 6 attack that disrupted the counting of electoral votes.
However, it’s important to note that Trump lost Nevada by approximately 30,000 votes to Biden. The state’s Democratic electors officially certified these results, with Nevada’s Secretary of State, Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, personally witnessing and defending their reliability and accuracy. Her support subsequently led to her being censured by the state Republican Party. Cegavske later conducted an investigation to address claims of widespread voter fraud but found no substantial evidence supporting these allegations. Due to term limits, she was ineligible for re-election.
Both McDonald and DeGraffenreid were called upon to testify before the House committee as part of their ongoing investigation.
Consensus on Voter Fraud
Multiple government and external investigations have examined the allegations made about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Across the board, these investigations have consistently concluded that there is no evidence supporting such claims. Despite these findings, Trump has persistently continued to spread falsehoods regarding the integrity of the 2020 election.