Nevada Charges Republican Party Leaders in 2020 Fake Elector Scheme

The six Republicans charged on Wednesday included the state party’s chairman and vice chairman as well as the chairman of the Republican Party in Clark County.

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Nevada Charges Republican Party Leaders in 2020 Fake Elector Scheme |

The Nevada Republican Party chairman, Michael J. McDonald, second from left, during a news conference in Las Vegas last year. Mr. McDonald and five other Nevada Republicans were charged in the fake elector scheme.

A Nevada grand jury indicted top leaders of the state’s Republican Party on charges of forging and submitting fraudulent documents in the fake elector scheme to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, the state’s attorney general announced on Wednesday.

The six Republicans charged, who claimed to be electors for Donald J. Trump, included the chairman of the state party, Michael J. McDonald. Also included are Jim Hindle, the state party’s vice chairman; Jim DeGraffenreid, a national committeeman, Jesse Law, the chairman of the Republican Party in Clark County, home to Las Vegas; and Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice, executive board members of the Republican Party in Douglas County.

“When the efforts to undermine faith in our democracy began after the 2020 election, I made it clear that I would do everything in my power to defend the institutions of our nation and our state,” Aaron D. Ford, Nevada’s attorney general and a Democrat, said in a statement. “We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged. Today’s 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 charges are the latest in a nationwide effort by officials to prosecute those who falsely portrayed themselves as state electors in an effort to overturn Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020. Michigan’s attorney general charged 16 Republicans in July for a similar effort in the state.

The plan involved creating false slates of electors pledged to Mr. Trump in seven swing states that were won by Mr. Biden in an effort to overturn the election.

Kenneth Chesebro, a key player in the fake elector scheme, is listed as a witness in the Nevada indictments. Mr. Chesebro had earlier pleaded guilty in a criminal racketeering indictment in Georgia that accused him of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. Mr. Chesebro had also agreed to cooperate with state prosecutors in that case.

The six Republicans were each charged in similar four-page indictments with one count of forging certificates designating Nevada’s electoral votes for Mr. Trump, even though Mr. Biden won the state in 2020. They were also each charged with one count of knowingly submitting these fake certificates to state and federal officials.

If convicted, the false electors face a combined maximum of nine years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Chris Cameron is based in the Washington bureau. More about Chris Cameron

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