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Nevada attorney general mum on state GOP elector investigation

Updated January 6, 2023 - 5:03 pm

Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford refuses to say whether the state is investigating the six Republican electors who submitted fake electoral certificates declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election.

“I know that it’s not a satisfactory answer for a lot of folks, but I would not jeopardize anything that we are doing or that we may do by commenting on whether we’re investigating,” Ford said Friday during a press call with the Democratic Attorneys General Association about the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Ford said he does not comment on any investigation, whether it is regarding elder abuse, child abuse or the Republican electors.

“The moment I decide to comment on the fake electors, someone’s going to say this is a partisan investigation because I comment on nothing anyway,” Ford said.

Ford did say that he is cooperating with and participating in the Justice Department’s investigation.

Attorneys general in other states are not shy about saying whether they are investigating illegitimate electors.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said on the call that she plans to open a state investigation into the 16 Republican electors in Michigan who submitted fake electoral certificates on behalf of Trump after an “overwhelming amount of evidence” came out from the House committee selected to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

“We are reopening our investigation because I don’t know what the federal government plans to do, and perhaps they are going to move forward, and I hope they do,” Nessel said. “But I think it is important … that there be some accountability. You know, let’s be clear about what this was. It was an effort to overturn a lawful election, and I think that that type of activity cannot go without any consequences.”

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said she will be directing her office to initiate an investigation into the Republican elector scheme in Arizona.

“We certainly do not want to interfere with any federal investigation, and we’ll work with them,” Mayes said. “But I do think that … it is not the kind of thing that can go unexamined. You know, we cannot allow a situation that clearly involved an attempt to undermine our democracy to go uninvestigated.”

On Dec. 14, 2020, six Republican electors gathered outside the Nevada Capitol in Carson City and signed a fake certificate of ascertainment certifying the election results for Trump — despite his losing by about 30,000 votes to Joe Biden and the real electors certifying the results for Biden in the presence of Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

The Nevada Republican electors joined Republicans in other battleground states in submitting the certificates to Congress and the National Archives in hopes that Vice President Mike Pence would use them to certify the election for Trump.

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald referred all requests for comment to his attorney, who did not return a call from the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday. The federal government has investigated McDonald, seizing his cellphone.

McDonald and National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid, who was one of the other Republican electors, also testified before the Jan. 6 committee but invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. DeGraffenreid could not be reached for comment Friday.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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