Six Nevadans indicted for role in plot to overturn 2020 election

Aaron Ford, Attorney General of Nevada, answers a question during an interview at the State Attorneys General Association meetings , Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Lorraine Longhi

December 13, 2023

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said Tuesday that “a long and thorough investigation” ultimately led to the indictment of the fake electors who submitted documents declaring former president Donald Trump won the Silver State in the 2020 presidential election.

Following the election, Republicans in seven states – including Nevada, Arizona and Michigan – attempted to overturn the election results and keep Trump in power by illegitimately pledging him their electoral votes.

Now, three years later, a grand jury has indicted six Nevadans on charges of offering a false instrument for filing and uttering forged instruments, both felonies that can carry punishments of between one to five years in prison.

“We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged,” Ford said in a statement last week when the indictments were first announced. “[These] 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.”

The fake electors charged are Republican National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid, Nevada GOP Vice Chairman Jim Hindle III, Clark County Republican Party Chairman Jesse Law, Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, Shawn Meehan, and Eileen Rice.

The attorney general’s office announced the indictments last week, but subsequently postponed a press conference regarding the indictments following a shooting at UNLV the same day.

The indictments come on the heels of reporting last month that Ford was investigating the fake electors and interviewing witnesses in the case.

“Based on the evidence we already had, combined with our review and consideration of new evidence that continued and continues to come in, we were fortified in our belief that in fact, we could meet those elements, “ Ford said. “Ultimately we proceeded to indict on those theories.”

The indictment of Nevada’s fake electors comes as their counterparts in other states have already seen charges brought and even settled lawsuits related to their efforts.

Ford said Tuesday the timeline for announcing the indictments was a lose-lose situation for his office: Move quickly, and his office would be accused of rushing to judgment for political purposes, or take the time to secure sufficient facts and evidence to prove crime beyond a reasonable doubt and be accused of delaying for political purposes.

“That’s why my office ignores all that noise, and all that nonsense, and focuses on justice,” he said.

Ford stopped short of saying what evidence his office had gathered in the case, saying he could not comment on the investigative components of the indictment.

“Although we have successfully obtained these indictments, this investigation remains ongoing,” he said.

The six electors are scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

  • Lorraine Longhi

    Lorraine Longhi is a reporter for The Nevadan and native of the southwest. A graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, she spent eight years reporting in Arizona, including at The Arizona Republic and The Copper Courier, where she covered education, health care and state politics. She returned to Las Vegas, her hometown, last year as an education reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where she was later promoted to assistant city editor

CATEGORIES: ELECTION | POLITICS

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