Nevada’s Attorney General Aaron Ford has opened an investigation into efforts by Republicans in the state to undermine Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election by creating a slate of fake pro-Trump electors.
The investigation, which was first reported by Politico, has been unfolding with little fanfare in recent weeks. According to three people with knowledge of the investigation who spoke to Politico, prosecutors have been interviewing witnesses in connection to the fake electors scheme, which in Nevada involved six Republicans. State party Chair Michael McDonald, who signed certificates falsely attesting themselves as certified Electoral College electors, was among them. According to Politico, witnesses who’ve been questioned include former Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria, who was subjected to threats and intimidation by Trump supporters in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
Nevada’s move follows similar probes by state attorneys general in Michigan and Arizona, as well as Fulton County prosecutors’ indictment of a number of Trump campaign attorneys and three Republicans who allegedly participated in the scheme at a national level.
As Rolling Stone reported, prosecutors in Arizona have been “moving aggressively” in an investigation of the state’s self-appointed pro-Trump electors, including former state Republican party chairwoman Kelli Ward. Sources familiar with the investigation indicated to Rolling Stone that investigators have been questioning witnesses about the effort, and the potential roles of those close to Trump’s orbit. Rudy Giuliani has become a particular point of interest for Arizona prosecutors. In August, Rolling Stone confirmed that Arizona prosecutors were probing allegations that Trump and his allies continued to pressure Arizona lawmakers into decertifying the state’s election results years after the former president lost the election.
Some of the false electors involved in the Nevada plot have been embroiled in separate investigations into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. This summer, McDonald and Republican National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid, another one of the state’s fake electors, were granted limited immunity in exchange for their testimony before a grand jury empaneled by Special Counsel Jack Smith. DeGraffenreid’s interactions with Trump’s former Georgia co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro also appeared in the final report compiled by the Jan. 6 Committee. Chesebro, who is considered one of the masterminds behind the fake electors scheme, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false documents in Georgia last month.
As 2024 approaches, Trump, the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, remains committed to the myth that the 2020 election was stolen from him. The former president has already begun laying the groundwork to level election challenges in 2024.
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