Nevada judge dismisses case against false Trump electors, citing jurisdiction

A Nevada judge on Friday dismissed the case against six Republicans who submitted certificates falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election.

Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus ruled the state should have filed the case in another county. Prosecutors said they would appeal her decision.

Trump supporters in Nevada and six other states that President Biden won sent official-looking documents to Congress claiming Trump was the true victor. In Nevada, they were charged in December with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument, felonies that together come with a maximum of nine years in prison. Those who were indicted include Nevada GOP chairman Michael J. McDonald.

The judge issued her ruling from the bench after attorneys for the Republicans argued the case should have been filed elsewhere because the meeting of Trump electors occurred more than 400 miles from Las Vegas, in Carson City.

A spokesperson for Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford told The Washington Post that the state plans to “immediately” appeal the judge’s decision. The statute of limitations ran out shortly after the case was filed in Clark County, which appears to make refiling the case in another jurisdiction impossible.

The appeal will go to the state Supreme Court, which could decide the case or send it to a lower appeals court. Briefing will likely take months and a decision before the November election appears unlikely.

Attorneys for the Nevada Republicans said they were pleased with Friday’s decision and turning their attention to the state’s appeal.


“The judge followed the law and correctly determined that Clark County doesn’t have jurisdiction,” said attorney Monti Levy. “I’m very confident that our Nevada Supreme Court will uphold Judge Holthus’ decision.”

Republicans involved in the elector meetings in four other states - Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin - separately face charges from local or state prosecutors. Their cases are not affected by Friday’s decision.

Republicans in the remaining states, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, were not charged. Unlike in other states, the paperwork they submitted included language saying their electoral ballots should be counted only if Trump were determined to be the actual winner.

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Amy Gardner and Hayden Godfrey contributed to this report.