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Nevada fake electors won't stand trial until January 2025 under judge's new schedule

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Six Republicans accused of submitting certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of Nevada’s 2020 presidential election won't be standing trial until early next year, a judge determined Monday.

Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus pushed the trial, initially scheduled for this month, back to Jan. 13, 2025, because of conflicting schedules, and set a hearing for next month to consider a bid by the defendants to throw out the indictment.

The defendants are state GOP chairman Michael McDonald, national party committee member Jim DeGraffenreid, Clark County party chair Jesse Law, Storey County clerk Jim Hindle, national and Douglas County committee member Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice, a party member from the Lake Tahoe area.

Each is charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument, felonies that carry penalties of up to four or five years in prison.

Defense attorneys led by McDonald's lawyer, Richard Wright, contend that Nevada state Attorney General Aaron Ford improperly brought the case in Las Vegas instead of Carson City, the state capital, and failed to present evidence to the grand jury that would have exonerated their clients. They also argue there is insufficient evidence and that their clients had no intent to commit a crime.

Trump lost Nevada in 2020 by more than 30,000 votes to Democratic President Joe Biden. The state’s Democratic electors certified the results in the presence of Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican whose defense of the results as reliable and accurate led the state GOP to censure her. Cegavske later conducted an investigation that found no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud in the state.

Nevada is one of seven presidential battleground states where slates of Republicans falsely certified that Trump, not Biden, had won. Others are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Criminal charges have been brought in Michigan and Georgia. In Wisconsin, 10 Republicans who posed as electors and two attorneys have settled a lawsuit. In New Mexico, the Democratic attorney general announced last month that five Republicans in his state can’t be prosecuted under current state law.

Ken Ritter, The Associated Press