Judge dismisses Nevada ‘fake electors’ case

Judge dismisses Nevada ‘fake electors’ case

A Nevada judge dismissed a case Friday against six so-called fake electors who falsely claimed former President Trump won the state in the 2020 presidential election.

Clark County District Judge Mary Kay Holthus ruled that prosecutors with the Nevada attorney general’s office chose the wrong venue in which to file the case, calling off a trial scheduled for January.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford (D) brought the case in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, but defense attorneys contended that it should have been filed in a northern Nevada city closer to where the alleged crime occurred.

“We disagree with the judge’s decision and will be appealing immediately,” said John Sadler, a spokesperson for the Nevada attorney general’s office.

Following the judge’s decision, defense attorneys told reporters the case is “done” since a three-year statute of limitations on filing charges expired in December, meaning that the state likely could not bring the case to a grand jury in a different venue.

The pro-Trump electors who were charged were Michael McDonald, Jesse Law, Jim DeGraffenreid, Durward James Hindle III, Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice. They each faced felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged document, which carry penalties up to four or five years in prison.

When announcing their indictments, the state attorney general’s office said in a statement they posed as “duly qualified” electors to “disrupt the results of a free and fair presidential election.”

The alternate electors scheme relied on former Vice President Mike Pence to certify slates of Trump-supporting electors in battleground states instead of the true Electoral College votes cast for now-President Biden. Pence declined to do so on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the election certification, after which a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol.

In addition to Nevada, slates of pro-Trump electors have faced criminal charges in three of those states — Michigan, Georgia and Arizona.

Trump’s lawyers spearheaded the plan, and several face charges in other states in connection with it. Trump himself also faces federal charges and charges in Georgia in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in his favor. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Biden won Nevada by more than 33,000 votes in 2020.

The Associated Press contributed.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. EDT

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