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6 'fake electors' for Trump are indicted in Nevada

Nevada Republican Party Chair Michael McDonald announces then-President Donald Trump before he speaks at the party's convention on June 23, 2018, in Las Vegas.
L.E. Baskow
/
AP
Nevada Republican Party Chair Michael McDonald announces then-President Donald Trump before he speaks at the party's convention on June 23, 2018, in Las Vegas.

A Nevada grand jury on Wednesday indicted six individuals who submitted documents falsely attesting that they were the state's official presidential electors and that Donald Trump won Nevada in the 2020 election.

So-called "fake electors" have now faced criminal charges in three swing states: Nevada, Michigan and Georgia. A legal settlement was also announced Wednesday regarding false electors in Wisconsin.

Nevada Republican Party Chair Michael McDonald is among those charged in the state. The other five are: Jim DeGraffenreid, Jesse Law, Durward James Hindle III, Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice. The defendants face two felony charges apiece — "Offering a False Instrument for Filing" and "Uttering a Forged Instrument" — according to a release from the state attorney general.

"We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged," Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, said in a statement.

After the 2020 election, allies of Trump organized groups of fake electors in seven states won by Joe Biden. These purported electors signed documents that said they were "the duly elected and qualified" presidential electors from their states.

Those states include Michigan, where in July the Democratic state attorney general announced charges against 16 people posing as electors, and Georgia, where fake electors were included in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' sweeping racketeering indictment.

In the Georgia probe, former Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Chesebro authored memos detailing how Republicans could send false slates of presidential electors to Congress.

Chesebro is listed on the Nevada indictment as a witness.

The news out of Nevada came hours after a unique civil settlement was announced in Wisconsin. There, 10 individuals who served as fake Trump electors acknowledged their part in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

In a joint statement, the 10 defendants wrote, in part: "We oppose any attempt to undermine the public's faith in the ultimate results of the 2020 presidential election. We hereby withdraw the documents we executed on December 14, 2020, and request that they be disregarded by the public and all entities to which they were submitted."

The announcement of the Wisconsin settlement noted that litigation continues against two former Trump attorneys, one of whom is Chesebro.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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NPR's Washington Desk