Nevada Republican who signed fake certificate for Trump wins race for top elections job

Nevada GOP electors all subpoenaed for records as part of election scheme

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Nevada Republicans sent phony certificates to Washington in December 2020

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — FBI agents served grand jury subpoenas to all six of the Nevada Republican Party’s electors as part of the investigation into the fake elector scheme initiated at the end of the 2020 presidential election, sources told the 8 News Now I-Team.

As the I-Team’s George Knapp first reported Wednesday, FBI agents served a search warrant Wednesday on Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald, seizing his phone.

The subpoenas from the Department of Justice demand any and all documents or communication regarding the fake elector scheme. They are similar to what the Jan. 6 committee already requested, sources told the I-Team.

The new subpoenas specifically request all communication among the six Republican electors, as well as their contacts with a long list of national Republican figures, including Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and other prominent names associated with former President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Nevada’s six Republican Party electors cast symbolic votes for President Donald Trump. The votes have no legal merit as the state’s actual electors cast their votes for President-elect Joe Biden. (Twitter/KLAS)

In December 2020, the 8 News Now I-Team reported the Nevada Republican Party’s electors signed paperwork signaling their support for Trump in a symbolic ceremony devoid of any legal merit. The event, held and live-streamed in Carson City, coincided with the official state-sanctioned tally on Dec. 14, 2020.

When the I-Team asked the National Archives in December 2020 about receiving the documents, a spokesperson pointed back to the official state-signed certificate, which says Democratic electors in Nevada won and cast their six electoral votes for now-President Joe Biden. A spokesperson for the National Archives said they could not comment on any “communication with private individuals.”

No state can submit more than one set of electoral votes.

The signed certificate from Nevada’s Republican Party as received by the National Archives. (KLAS)

Biden won the presidential race in Nevada by more than 2%. He received the state’s six electoral votes in the official state ceremony, overseen by Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

A video of the GOP event has since been deleted. In January, the I-Team received a copy of the fake certificates.

FBI agents showed up in the driveway of party vice chair James Hindle at his northern Nevada home Thursday with a subpoena, sources told Knapp.

Hindle won his election last week to become the clerk and treasurer in Storey County. He received 605 votes to Republican challenger Doreayne “Dore” Nevin’s 515 votes. No Democrat ran in the race.

FILE – In this June 23, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, is greeted by Nevada State GOP Chairman Michael McDonald as he arrives at the podium to speak during the Nevada Republican Party Convention at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/L.E. Baskow, File)

The FBI attempted to serve Minden firefighter Jim DeGraffenreid on Wednesday, but he had yet to surface as of Thursday. His attorney told the I-Team that his client would comply with the subpoena by the deadline of July 8.

In a statement after the Republican electoral event in 2020, McDonald said the party’s electors convened in Carson City due to ongoing legal battles seeking to overturn the election results. Nevada Republicans lost all court cases involving allegations of voter fraud.

The outside of the envelope accompanying the documents is stamped and verified by the U.S. Postal Service. It is addressed and was sent via certified mail to the National Archives from the rural town of Minden, Nevada. The USPS time-date stamps indicate the packet arrived in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 22. (KLAS)

By the date of the signing on Dec. 14, 2020, all lawsuits challenging the election were lost. A week before, a state judge dismissed the Trump campaign’s request to declare the president the winner in Nevada and nullify the election results. In his ruling, Judge James Russell also ordered lawyers for the campaign to pay the defendants’ legal fees.

Several other lawsuits on similar matters were also already thrown out of state court. Republicans had filed a similar lawsuit in November 2020 but later dropped it. Three lawsuits by Republicans asking Nevada state judges for new elections were also already tossed.

The state’s real election certification versus the one sent in by the Nevada Republican Party. (KLAS)

The Nevada GOP has not responded to any request for comment regarding its electors. The I-Team reached out to all six electors earlier this year and received no response.

In Nevada in 2020, 10 dead voters had ballots cast in their names and 10 people voted twice, the I-Team has learned from a secretary of state report, far below initial claims from state and national Republicans alleging nearly 4,000 individual cases of voter fraud.

In one case, Donald “Kirk” Hartle, who told the I-Team in November 2020 that someone had stolen his deceased wife’s ballot and voted, in fact, voted himself.

A tweet from the Nevada GOP (left) about Hartle’s allegation, a photo of Hartle from a Zoom interview (right). (KLAS)

The I-Team was first to report that prosecutors were charging Kirk Hartle in October 2021. In a plea agreement, Kirk Hartle pleaded guilty to one charge of voting more than once in the same election, which is a category D felony. Category D felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of four years.

As part of the plea deal, Hartle avoided prison time and was placed on probation. If he stays out of trouble for a year, he will be able to withdraw his plea and instead plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit voting more than once in the same election.

Rosemarie Hartle’s ballot was one of two cited by Nevada Republicans and national party leaders as evidence of voter fraud in Nevada.

Cegavkse’s party censured her for defending the results of the election.

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