Top Republican Party Official Criminally Charged For Joining Trump’s Sham Elector Schemes

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The chairman of the state Republican Party of Nevada — a man named Michael McDonald — is among six individuals who have been criminally charged in a case originating with Nevada’s attorney general for having signed on as sham electors for Trump in 2020. Nevada was among the states where Trump allies assembled ostensible slates of electoral votes for the then-outgoing president despite Joe Biden actually winning the jurisdictions.

The Nevada case, in which the defendants are facing felony criminal charges, is the third of its kind, following criminal cases against fellow participants in the nationwide efforts from Michigan and Georgia. The Georgia case only charged a subset of the sham electors from that state. The fake electors scheme has also figured into the federal case against Donald Trump himself accusing the ex-president of several criminal conspiracies threatening to undermine the 2020 presidential election.

Defenses from Trump’s circles have included the idea that sham electoral votes were meant as a back-up strategy if election-related litigation was successful. However, available evidence has pointed to intentions towards using the sham electoral votes regardless of courtroom outcomes.

“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,” Nevada state Attorney General Aaron Ford said in prepared remarks released on Wednesday. “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.”

Others charged include Nevada Republican Party National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid, Clark County Republican Party Chairman Jesse Law, and other Nevadans. The Georgia sham electors in that state’s wide-ranging criminal case tried — unsuccessfully, so far — to move proceedings against them to federal court on the idea they were fulfilling federal responsibilities.