Saturday, July 13, 2024

Judge Drops Lawfare Charges Against Nevada’s 2020 Alternate Electors over Withheld Evidence

'They’re done...'

(Headline USA) A Nevada state court judge dismissed a criminal indictment Friday against six Republicans accused of submitting certificates to Congress declaring Donald Trump the winner of the state’s 2020 presidential election.

The decision potentially kills the case, accusing leftist state prosecutors of intentionally withholding exculpatory evidence from the defendants and the grand jury, as well as filing the case in the wrong venue.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, stood in the Las Vegas courtroom a moment after Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus delivered her ruling, declaring that he would take the case directly to the state Supreme Court.

“The judge got it wrong and we’ll be appealing immediately,” Ford told reporters afterward. He declined any additional comment.

However, defense attorneys bluntly declared the case dead, saying that to bring the case now to another grand jury in another venue, such as Nevada’s capital city of Carson City, would violate a three-year statute of limitations on filing charges that expired in December.

“They’re done,” said Margaret McLetchie, attorney for Clark County Republican party chairman Jesse Law, one of the defendants in the case.

The judge called off trial, which had been scheduled for next January, for defendants who included state GOP chairman Michael McDonald; national party committee member Jim DeGraffenreid; national and Douglas County committee member Shawn Meehan; and Eileen Rice, a party member from the Lake Tahoe area.

Each was charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument, felonies that carry penalties of up to four or five years in prison.

Defense attorneys contended that prosecutors failed to present to the grand jury evidence that would have exonerated their clients, and said their clients had no intent to commit a crime.

They also added that Ford improperly brought the case in Las Vegas instead of Carson City or Reno, northern Nevada cities closer to where the alleged incident occurred but where the political climate may have been less favorable to the desired outcome of his lawfare prosecution.

Las Vegas voted largely for Biden, much more than Carson City or Reno, meaning Las Vegas would’ve been an easier venue for them to pick a biased jury pool.

All but Meehan have been named by the state party as Nevada delegates to the 2024 Republican National Convention next month in Milwaukee.

Meehan’s defense attorney, Sigal Chattah, said her client “chose not to” seek the position. Chattah ran against Ford in 2022 for state attorney general but lost by just under 8% of the vote.

Nevada is one of seven battleground states where Republicans put forward slates of alternate electors disputing the certified outcome in favor of Democrat Joe Biden due to widespread irregularities that had yet to be resolved at the time—and many of which remain inconclusive to this day.

Others are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Democrats had previously advocated for sending alternate slates of electors in such scenarios as a legal and constitutionally sound remedy but were determined to push back against any such challenges in the highly disputed and deeply suspicious 2020 race.

Leftist prosecutors have since attempted to punish their political rivals by bringing criminal charges in several of the states, including Michigan, Georgia and Arizona.

According to government-issued election results, Trump lost Nevada in 2020 by more than 30,000 votes to Biden. The state’s Democratic electors certified the results in the presence of Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, which led to her being censured by the Nevada GOP.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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