During a press conference in Las Vegas yesterday afternoon, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford defended the length of the investigation into the six “fake electors” that resulted in felony charges of six, GOP-affiliated individuals. Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, Vice Chair Jim Hindle III, Clark County GOP Chair Jesse Law, and National Committeeman James DeGraffenreid, Shawn Meehan, and Eileen Rice have been charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing and Uttering a Forged Instrument, which are category C and category D felonies, respectively.
In the indictment, Ford claims that the six defendants “falsely portrayed themselves as Nevada’s presidential electors in the aftermath of the 2020 election.”
Ford told the press: “These charges are the culmination of a long and careful investigation into these actions taken in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. I know that there’s been some confusion as to when this investigation actually began, with some saying it only started in November. That’s inaccurate. We’ve conducted this investigation for years to gather as many facts and as much evidence necessary to pursue justice.”
Ford further pressed for specific legislation to “directly address” and “criminalize fake-elector schemes” referring to the defendants’ actions as a “grave offense.”
“There is no statute that directly addresses what SB 133 covered – fake electors. There is no statute that criminalizes attempting to pass yourself off as an elector when you are not one. Nor is there a statute that criminalizes fake-elector schemes.
SB 133 would have directly criminalized these actions. That’s why I testified in support of it – to create a law that directly addressed the conduct in question. SB 133 passed, but it was unfortunately vetoed by the governor. So, we still don’t have a law that directly addresses fake electors,” Ford told reporters.
“I noted during my testimony for Senate Bill 133 that, “as long as I am Attorney General, I will never stop fighting against those seeking to undermine our elections. I will never stop fighting against those that seek to undermine our democracy.” I meant it”, Ford added.
In legislative testimony, Ford advocated Senate Bill 133. Senate Bill 133, sponsored by Democratic Senator Skip Daly, proposed criminal penalties (4-10 years imprisonment) for anyone found guilt of participating in or “creating a false slate of presidential electors.”
Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed the measure, saying the penalty would be harsher than that for high-level fentanyl traffickers, domestic violence perpetrators and “even some of the most extreme and violent actors on January 6.”
“Because SB 133 does nothing to ensure the security of our elections and merely provides disproportionately harsh penalties for an, admittedly, terrible crime, I cannot support it,” Lombardo stated.
The Democratic Attorney General, who is rumored to be gearing a run for Governor, lastly noted that the indictments were not political and his investigation was a “lose-lose proposition.”
“I fully expect partisan attacks as a response to these indictments – just as I received when some thought I would not seek to hold these defendants accountable. But I do not make prosecutorial decisions based on public opinion or political persuasion – neither from those who agree with me nor those who disagree with me.
Our only considerations have been justice and the public interest. Not partisans, politics, opinions, or pundits,” Ford stressed.
On December 18th, the defendants will appear in the Eight Judicial District Court and will have the opportunity to enter their plea.
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