Tina Peters’ day in court can’t come soon enough

Things are about to get real for flamboyant and lawless Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

The far-right election conspiracy darling is due in court on Wednesday on 11 counts, including attempting to influence a public official, criminal impersonation, identity theft, first-degree official misconduct, breach of duty and disrespecting the Secretary of State.

And prosecutors are just getting started.

Federal charges are also likely once the FBI completes its investigation into his reckless election antics.

Peters also faces charges of alleged breaches of the Ethics Act involving — among other things — his fundraising scheme to pay for his legal defense.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell bragged about contributing up to $800,000 to pay for Peters’ defense, apparently in violation of Colorado laws prohibiting elected officials from accepting gifts worth more than $65. In an effort to keep the money flowing despite Colorado law, Peters directed donors to an account set up outside the state.

The woman has absolutely no shame.

She also seems to have absolutely no defence.

Last month, prosecutors ousted the ultimate insider, his deputy Belinda Knisley.

The former deputy clerk agreed to cooperate with Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein in the Peters case in exchange for his office dropping serious charges against her.

Claiming her role was “entirely directed by someone else,” Knisley reportedly told prosecutors how she helped campaign conspiracy criminals copy the hard drives of Mesa County voting machines and participate in what has been described as a software update to ensure system security.

She pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors and agreed to come clean to avoid jail time. She was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and two years probation.

Judge Matthew Barrett, who reluctantly accepted the plea deal, told Knisley: “You have abdicated your role as clerk; you have violated your oath; and you betrayed your duty.

Rubenstein said he would push for an early trial date for Peters at this week’s arraignment, to which I can only say, oh goody.

Each chapter of the Tina Peters saga has been as entertaining as it is deeply disturbing.

Shortly after the alleged scheme to break voting systems came to light, Peters embarked on a celebrity speaking tour, appearing at gatherings of wild-eyed conspiracy cultists across the country.

Then, after the grand jury was convened to investigate election tampering charges, Peters had a nervous breakdown at a Grand Junction bagel shop when sheriff’s deputies attempted to act on a warrant to search his computer files. She was filmed struggling with officers and kicking a cop in her, well, taser.

Even when she was handcuffed in the back of a police car, she still gossiped about the big lie.

Then, when she lost her bid for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State, she followed Trump’s loss strategy, claiming the election was rigged and demanding a recount, even spending $250,000 worth of money from his supporters to pay for it.

In the end, like her role model, she was always the loser.

The secondary show continues. But hopefully not for long.

As the national spotlight shines brightly on the investigation into the Trump campaign’s efforts to nullify the Georgia election, the sordid case of Tina Peters stands as a critical test of laws designed to protect our democracy.

It is important to act quickly to prosecute these crimes. And it’s even more important to reveal to Peters and his ilk what they really are: liars and cheats.

The blizzard of lies from her and her entire gang of election conspirators is no joke. It is a coordinated and cynical ploy to undermine confidence in elections, law enforcement and the justice system.

For Peters and Trump and so many others, the legal strategy is to delay, delay, delay in the hope that an exhausted public will simply lose interest, abandon the political process and pay no attention to the inevitable lawsuits and their outcomes. .

We cannot let this happen.

The midterm elections are only two months away. The presidential election is only 26 months away.

Voter confidence is crucial, and what happens in Mesa County matters to every American.

So far, the system seems to be working. Belinda Knisley is ready to sing.

Now is the time for Tina Peters to face the music.


Diane Carman is a communications consultant in Denver.

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