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Former Trump attorney to cooperate with Nevada investigators in fake elector probe

Under Nevada law, charges for filing false documents must come within three years of the offense — meaning charges would likely need to be filed by Dec. 14.
Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
Election 2020State Government
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A former attorney for President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with Nevada officials investigating the six Republicans who falsely pledged the state’s 2020 electoral votes to Trump, the latest escalation in the state’s investigation into the so-called fake electors.

Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney central to Trump’s plan to submit fraudulent slates of electors in Nevada and other swing states in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, is cooperating with Nevada investigators who are investigating the false elector scheme, according to a Thursday report in The Washington Post. However, a source with knowledge of the situation indicated that The Post’s reporting of the timing of Chesebro’s travel to Nevada was inaccurate.

A 2022 Brookings report identified several existing state laws that may apply to the filing of fraudulent slates of electors, including a prohibition on falsifying records and prohibiting individuals from performing the duties of public officials without authorization. 

Under Nevada law, any charge for filing false documents must come within three years of the offense — meaning that any charges brought under that law would likely need to be filed by Dec. 14, the three-year anniversary of the fake electors meeting in Carson City.

Though in other states false electors labeled themselves as provisional electors, Nevada’s alleged “false electors” claimed to be presidential electors, going so far as to sign fake electoral certificates outside the state’s Capitol building on the same day as real electors cast their votes inside the building.

A spokesperson for the Nevada attorney general’s office declined to comment on The Post’s reporting and would not respond to questions related to Chesebro or any other investigations related to the fake electoral votes in Nevada. 

Robert Langford, a Nevada lawyer representing Chesebro, declined to comment on the reporting but said Chesebro “will travel anywhere in the United States to tell the truth about what happened leading up to the events of Jan. 6, 2021.”

The news arrives two weeks after sources confirmed Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, is investigating the so-called “false electors.” Ford previously indicated that Nevada law would not allow for criminal charges, and Gov. Joe Lombardo (a Republican) earlier this year vetoed a bill passed by the state’s Democratic-controlled Legislature that would have made it a felony offense to submit false slates of electors. 

Last week, Chesebro filed a request to travel to Nevada, Arizona and Washington, D.C., which are outside of his travel area outlined in a plea deal he reached with Georgia investigators. Langford confirmed with The Nevada Independent on Thursday that the court had approved that request. 

Last month, Chesebro pleaded guilty to illegally conspiring to overturn Trump’s election loss in Georgia, striking a deal with state prosecutors that he would provide evidence against other co-defendants in exchange for avoiding jail time. The guilty plea was in relation to one felony count of conspiracy to file false documents. 

The federal indictment that accused Trump of illegally trying to subvert the results of the 2020 election identified Chesebro as one of six unindicted co-conspirators. The indictment accused Chesebro of authoring memos to Trump allies in seven states that laid out the plans for the fake elector scheme. 

Chesebro’s correspondence with top Nevada officials who participated as fake electors — including GOP Chair Michael McDonald, national committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid and Clark County GOP Chair Jesse Law — were revealed in transcripts released last December by the U.S. House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

According to the transcripts, Chesebro passed along Trump campaign adviser and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s request for the fake slate to meet in Carson City on Dec. 14, 2020 — the day when actual state electors meet in state capitals to certify election results. In an email exchange over Dec. 11 and 12, Chesebro forwarded documents and memos to Nevada GOP officials with instructions on how to convene the ceremony, what to do and what language to put out in press releases.

Though attorneys from the campaign never said they were asking the Nevada GOP to do something illegal, they acknowledged in memos that were shared with the fake electors that Nevada law requires the secretary of state to oversee the electors casting their votes. They also noted it is unlawful to decree faithless electors, or cast electoral votes for anyone other than the winner of the popular vote in Nevada.

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