GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – An FBI-led law enforcement team conducted searches in four parts of western Colorado, including the election officer’s home. the district attorney said.
The FBI, the Colorado Attorney General and local authorities conducted a federal court-approved search on Tuesday in Mesa and neighboring Garfield counties, Mesa County Attorney Dan Rubinstein told Colorado Politics.
Tina Peters, an election official for Mesa County, which includes the city of Grand Junction, said her home was searched, media reported.
“The FBI raided my home at 6 a.m. and charged me with a crime,” Peters said. “And they raided the homes of my friends, mostly older women. I was horrified.”
Late Wednesday, Rubinstein and Attorney General Phil Weiser issued a statement confirming that a search had been made of Peters’ home and disputing the Peters Legal Defense Fund’s allegations that the authorities used excessive force during the operation.
“No force was used on Ms. Peters or her home at any point. Ms. Peters was allowed to move around at home and prepare breakfast for herself as agents collected the goods before leaving,” Rubinstein and Weiser said.
The FBI and Colorado state officials are investigating Republican Peters for alleged violations of election equipment in Mesa County in May. Foreign Secretary Jena Griswold, a Democrat, successfully sued a judge to get Peters and his deputy, Belinda Knisley, banned from holding the November by-elections. Peters has denied any wrongdoing.
Knisley was later banned from driving and prosecuted by Rubinstein’s office for aggravated second-degree burglary and cybercrime. Knisley has also denied any wrongdoing.
Colorado Politics reports that Peters commented on the searches for the first time appearing on an online channel run by Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow and a supporter of Peters and former President Donald Trump. He has repeatedly claimed that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Peters added that authorities “used assault rams,” destroying the front door of one of his friend’s homes.
Rubinstein did not disclose the other locations sought, but told the Associated Press in an email that “all documents related to these operations have been sealed” by court order. The searches concerned “possible criminal activity by employees of the Mesa County Clerk and Registrar Office and other employees associated with those employees,” the Rubinstein office said in a statement.
The FBI’s Denver office did not respond immediately to the email requesting comment.
The searches were conducted during a continuing controversy in the conservative Mesa County to guarantee the integrity of Peters and Griswold, the Democrats who voted in the 2020 elections and loudly nationally.
Peters has become an advocate for those who believe without evidence that the 2020 election was fraudulent – although he has said that the Mesa County election, which overwhelmingly voted for Trump, was safe and accurate. Instead, Democrat Joe Biden conveniently defeated Trump in Colorado in 2020, and Democrats control the governor’s office, the state legislature, and all state-wide offices.
Griswold sued to remove Peters County as clerk and registrar after Griswold said election conspiracy theorists had received images of election management software from Mesa County and posted on far-right blogs.
The Griswold office has said one of the photos was taken on May 23 from a safe room in Mesa County, where voting equipment was stored. Peters let it enter the room the same day.
After Griswold filed the lawsuit, Peters was away from Colorado for several weeks and appeared in public only on broadcasts hosted by Lindell. Peters argued that the Griswold study is an attempt to take over one of the few conservative counties in Colorado.
Griswold’s office has identified the person he said was admitted to the safe room, but he has refused to say more about who he is or why he was there. The Associated Press will not name him until more information is available. He has not been charged with a crime.
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