Federal authorities are intensifying their investigation of the multi-state scheme after the 2020 presidential election to assemble faked electoral votes for Trump in states Biden won.
According to a Las Vegas-area CBS affiliate, “FBI agents served a search warrant Wednesday on Nevada’s top GOP official, sources told the 8 News Now I-Team’s George Knapp.” That top official in the Nevada Republican Party is chairman Michael McDonald, whose cell phone was taken by federal agents. These developments were connected to the ongoing federal examination of that electoral vote scheme.
“A second search warrant was issued for state party secretary James DeGraffenreid, who also signed the document, but FBI agents could not locate him Wednesday, sources told Knapp,” per that same CBS affiliate. “Document,” in that context, appears to refer to documentation associated with the attempt in Nevada to put together a slate of so-called alternate electoral votes for Trump despite Biden’s victory in the state.
These supposedly alternate electoral votes had no legal foundation in Nevada or any other state. In certain states where Biden was victorious, Trump supporters met and signed off on claims they were, in fact, the appropriately selected electoral college members for their respective states, and documentation for these false claims was sent to federal authorities. Justifications for the fake electoral vote plot included that going through with it could supposedly keep Trump’s legal options open.
There was other new law enforcement activity this week tied to the federal investigation into the fake electoral vote plot. One location that saw such activity “was the home of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump elector,” according to The Washington Post. “[Another location] was the Virginia home of Thomas Lane, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico.” Georgia Republican Party chair David Shafer, who was among the fake electors for his state, also received an apparently federal subpoena Wednesday. Shafer previously spoke with the January 6 committee in the House and the investigative team of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who’s conducting a criminal investigation into efforts by Trump and certain allies of his to undercut the Georgia presidential election outcome.
“The precise nature of the information being sought by the Justice Department at the homes of Carver and Lane was not immediately clear… Phone messages left for Lane were not immediately returned. Carver, the Georgia lawyer, also did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment,” according to the Post. Wherever this investigation goes, it seems clear that federal authorities are serious about it as their look at January 6 and circumstances surrounding it continues. In theory, whatever criminal exposure those targeted by these subpoenas might have could extend to Trump and his campaign. The two were “directly involved in advancing and coordinating the plot to replace Biden electors with fake electors not chosen by the voters,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said at a recent public hearing of the riot panel. Schiff is a member.
The scheme went to extreme lengths. There are specific legal requirements for the location and timing of the assembling of legitimate electoral votes, and Casey Lucier, an investigative counsel for the riot committee, explained that to abide by those requirements one group working on the Michigan arm of the scheme even contemplated hiding out overnight in order to be able to access the state Capitol at the required time.