Judge Dismisses Nevada Alternate Electors Case Due to Jurisdiction Concerns

‘You have literally, in my opinion, a crime that has occurred in another jurisdiction,’ the judge says.

A Nevada judge on Friday dismissed the alternate electors’ case against six Republicans who were alleged to have submitted fraudulent certificates to Congress in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Clark County Judge Mary Kay Holthus issued a bench ruling on Friday during a hearing at the Clark County District Court that dismissed the case, according to courtroom reporters. The judge said she was not convinced by state prosecutors’ arguments that Clark County was the proper venue to hear the case, appearing to side with defense attorneys who said the signing of the certificates occurred in Douglas County.

“You have literally, in my opinion, a crime that has occurred in another jurisdiction,” Judge Holthus said at the hearing. “It’s so appropriately up north and so appropriately not here.”

In dismissing the case, the judge called off the trial, which had been scheduled for next January. The defendants included state GOP chairman Michael McDonald; national party committee member Jim DeGraffenreid; national and Douglas County committee member Shawn Meehan; and Eileen Rice, a party member from the Lake Tahoe area.

Each was charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument, felonies that carry penalties of up to five years in prison.

Defense attorneys contended that Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford improperly brought the case in Las Vegas instead of Carson City or Reno, which are cities located near where the alleged crime took place.

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After the hearing, Mr. Ford told reporters at the court that “the judge got it wrong and we’ll be appealing immediately.” He did not provide any more details.

Margaret McLetchie, an attorney for one of the defendants, told news outlets that it’s unlikely the case will proceed. “They’re done,” she said.

She said that the attorney general would have to now bring the case to another grand jury in another venue such as Nevada’s capital city of Carson City, which would violate a three-year statute of limitations on filing charges that expired in December 2023.

Earlier this year, attorney Richard Wright, who was representing the defendants, argued that prosecutors made a “politically expedient” move by bringing the case in Clark County.

“The venue that’s appropriate is Carson City and Minden,” he told the Nevada Independent in January. “That’s a Republican area, so I’ll be anxious to hear why the attorney general chose [Las Vegas] as the convenient forum. To me, it’s painfully obvious. Because it’s Democratic.”

Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, votes more in favor of Democrats in national elections, suggesting that the jury pool may have had a more unfavorable view of the Republicans who were accused of a crime.

In late 2023, Mr. Ford, a Democrat, brought his case against the six Republicans, accusing them of “efforts to undermine faith in our democracy … after the 2020 election.”

At the time, a grand jury returned an indictment of the six for allegedly portraying themselves as Nevada’s presidential electors after the 2020 election’s conclusion. After they were indicted, a number of media outlets described the Republicans as “fake electors” or “false electors.”

Nevada is one of seven presidential battleground states where slates of alternate electors certified that incumbent President Donald Trump had won the general election in 2020, not Democrat challenger Joe Biden. The Silver State is again forecast to be a swing state for the 2024 presidential contest. Others are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Criminal charges have been brought in Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona. In Arizona, a handful of Trump-affiliated officials and individuals were indicted, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, lawyer Jenna Ellis, former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, former U.S. Senate candidate James Lamon, and more.

In 2020, election data showed that former President Trump was behind then-candidate Biden by about 30,000 votes in Nevada. The state’s Democrat Party electors then certified those results at a ceremony alongside Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican.

The Epoch Times has contacted Mr. Ford’s office for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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