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Nevada fake electors case dismissed by judge

Updated June 21, 2024 - 6:54 pm

Criminal charges against six Republican officials accused of scheming to throw Nevada’s electoral votes to former President Donald Trump in 2020 were dismissed Friday by a judge who said she lacked jurisdiction in the case.

District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus ruled in favor of the six defendants, agreeing that the judge lacked jurisdiction to hear the case in Clark County because the alleged crimes occurred in Carson City and Douglas County.

“I can’t see jurisdiction here,” Holthus said. “I would have filed it up north. I don’t see anyway how I have any jurisdiction over this case based on the facts presented to the grand jury.”

Attorney General Aaron Ford vowed to appeal her ruling.

“The judge got it wrong, and we will be appealing immediately,” Ford said.

If an appeal fails, the state will not be able to refile charges in a northern county because the statute of limitations expired late last year.

The six defendants — Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, Clark County Republican Party Chairman Jesse Law, Republican National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid, Nevada GOP Vice Chairman Jim Hindle III, Eileen Rice and Shawn Meehan — held a ceremony in Carson City after the 2020 election and signed the electoral certificate to give Nevada’s electoral votes to Trump, despite Joe Biden winning the state by over 30,000 votes.

The certificate was sent to the president of the Senate, the archivist of the United States, the Nevada secretary of state and U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, according to the attorney general’s office.

They had met in Carson City and later sent the documents from Douglas County. The documents were later received in Clark County.

The motion to dismiss the felony charges was filed in early January.

The six pleaded not guilty after they were indicted by a grand jury in December. They were charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering forged instruments.

Local progressive groups including Battle Born Progress, All Voting is Local and Native Voters Alliance Nevada held a news conference ahead of the hearing calling for Hindle, who serves as the Storey County clerk, to resign from office.

“As Storey County Clerk, his ongoing oversight of our elections, while indicted for orchestrating a fake elector scheme, is a slap in the face to the principles we cherish,” voters alliance spokesperson Mathilda Guerrero said. “Any official who prioritizes partisan maneuvers over democratic principles forfeits their right to serve.”

A jury trial in the case had been scheduled for Jan. 13, 2025.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on X.

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