campaign 2022
Michael J. McDonald

Michael J. McDonald

In December 2020, six Nevada Republicans made efforts to overturn the presidential election results in the state.

According to an exclusive Politico report, the group of "Republican activists and operatives," at ex-President Donald Trump's request, "signed fake certificates on December 14, 2020, falsely declaring themselves to be the state's duly appointed Electoral College representatives."

The state's Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford has been "quietly" probing the efforts of Nevada GOP chair Michael McDonald, Jim DeGraffenreid, "Jesse Law, the head of the Clark County Republican Party; Durward James Hindle III; Eileen Rice; and Shawn Meehan," Politico reports.

Per the report, recently, "Investigators have questioned witnesses about the attempts of the so-called alternate electors to present themselves as viable representatives of the states' voters, according to three people familiar with the probe. Investigators have also asked about documents those people prepared as part of the effort."

Politico notes DeGraffenreid "was in touch with Kenneth Chesebro — a lawyer working with the Trump campaign and a chief architect of the fake elector scheme — in the days before the activists signed the fake certificates, according to the House Jan. 6 select committee report."

Chesebro was indicted alongside Trump and 17 others by a Fulton Country grand jury in August on criminal charges related to their plan to overturn the election.

According to Politico, the attorney general "has previously sent mixed messages about the potential for a state investigation into the false electors' actions," suggesting in May that criminal charges were unlikely.

"As you all know, I have been silent on Nevada's fake electors, except to say that the matter was on our radar," he said days later during June testimony to the Nevada state legislature. "With it on our radar, we ascertained that current state statutes did not directly address the conduct in question — to the dismay of some, and I’m sure, to the delight of others."

However, Politico reports Ford then said during a September interview, "I've never said that we're not going to prosecute. It is not that I've said that I can do nothing. What I have said, and I've been precise with my wording on purpose, is we don't have statutes in this state that directly address the issue."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani has admitted to making false and defamatory statements about Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. The pair are suing him for defamation after Giuliani went on television to repeat false and debunked claims that they had produced “suitcases” of ballots for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

In a nolo contendere filing made on Tuesday evening, attorneys working for Giuliani write that he “does not contest” that he made the defamatory statements. He also admits that he spread and amplified these defamatory statements. However, the attorneys claim that Giuliani is making this admission only to move things along to the next phase of the trial, where he can once again move to dismiss the case on grounds that his false, defamatory statements are still “constitutionally protected.”

But the real reason Giuliani appears to be confessing is that the motion seeks to end any search for documents or statements, by making “further discovery unnecessary.”

Speaking to USA Today, a spokesman for Giuliani insisted that “Giuliani did not acknowledge that the statements were false,” but just wanted to hurry on to the point where he can file another motion to dismiss. However, that statement is completely at odds with the contents of the filing.

What Giuliani is attempting to do here is to not only confess to lying and defamation, but to place a restriction that says this confession to lying and defamation can’t be used in any other litigation. It’s not at all clear this will work.

But the biggest part of the plan shows Giuliani is ceding “any pertinent facts for which discovery from him should be needed,” meaning that U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell should now stop the search for documents, emails, text messages, and other communications between Giuliani and others involved in the scheme to overturn the 2020 election.

It’s highly unlikely that Howell will dismiss the case over Giuliani’s claims that he was just exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. Defamatory statements are just that: defamatory. Neither Freeman nor Moss were public figures, and as ordinary citizens the law affords them the highest protection against statements exactly like those made by Giuliani.

He is also claiming that the two women can't be sure his statements did them any substantial harm. This is also clearly false as following Giuliani’s appearance on One America News Network, the election workers were hit with “an immediate onslaught of violent and racist threats and harassment” and are now unable “to live normal lives.”

The effort to cut off discovery in this case could directly impact the special counsel investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election, as information turned over in the Freeman and Moss lawsuit is being made available to the special counsel's office through a lawsuit filed by former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Marcy Wheeler has an extensive look into how the claims made in Giuliani’s attempts to block discovery in this case tie into other cases he has been involved with, including everything that springs from his false claims about the actions of Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine. These are the same well-debunked claims Republicans are now pretending to investigate in a series of House hearings that are really nothing more than an opportunity for them to repeat known lies, and for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to show nude pictures of the president’s son.

We don’t know yet whether Giuliani’s attempt to halt discovery will work, or whether his attempt to limit his admissions to this case are secure. We do know that no matter what his spokesman says, he’s admitting that the claims he made about election fraud in Georgia were a lie.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.