As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Tom Hesse reports, the widening scandal involving Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as local and federal criminal investigations into a breach of security in Peters’ office that resulted in proprietary election system data being leaked to far-right conspiracy theorists is getting worse by the day:
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis pleaded with supporters of County Clerk Tina Peters Tuesday to tell the AWOL local official she needs to return to western Colorado.
“So, if you do, or you know somebody who does, call Tina, tell her to come out of hiding and come home,” McInnis told the audience at a meeting of the Mesa County County Commission…
McInnis said amid all the turmoil, which included Griswold’s office decertifying some local election equipment, they only recently heard from Peters.
“Not until two days ago, through a third person, did Tina communicate with us,” McInnis said, adding that most of the message was in “biblical terms.” [Pols emphasis]
The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports that Clerk Peters’ whereabouts are unknown, though she is still giving interviews to the man believed to be funding her time on the lam Amendment 41 be damned–“MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell:
It’s not clear where Peters is now, but she may not be there for long. The clerk told Lindell on Monday that she believes her hotel room was burglarized and Lindell said, “I guess we’re going to have to get you moved again.” He vowed to arrange for private security as well…
The actions of Peters and her office are under investigation by the FBI, Mesa County district attorney’s office and Colorado secretary of state’s office. The latter believes Peters allowed an unauthorized man named Gerald Wood to access a secure area at the county election office on May 25 and that the breach led to election equipment passwords being posted online Aug. 2 by Ron Watkins, a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory. Peters denied that Monday.
“I did not post and I did not authorize anyone to post any election data or software or passwords online,” she told Lindell. Peters acknowledged that surveillance cameras were turned off before the breach but said state law does not require them to be on until 60 days before an election.
The main problem here is that Clerk Peters’ defenders need to pick a defense. Peters is either a “hero” for allowing this data to be copied and handed over to conspiracy theorists, or she had nothing to do with the leak as she says now and therefore is not a hero. Obviously Peters cannot be both of these things simultaneously. While it would certainly be better for Clerk Peters’ criminal defense if she had nothing to do with the leak, far too many people have confessed on her behalf for that to be plausible at this point. Her defense about the video cameras is also absurd, since they were reportedly turned back on just a few minutes later.
Especially now that Mike Lindell is promising this week, after every one of his conspiracy theories has imploded under examination including the “packet captures” Lindell began his recent so-called “Cyber Symposium” touting as “absolute proof,” that Mesa County’s stolen elections data is the “smoking gun of all time.”
While speaking to Real America’s Voice host Steve Bannon, Lindell argued that Dominion had illegally removed election data from voting machines in Colorado. He suggested that the company was trying to cover up a fraudulent presidential election.
“You guys, this is the smoking gun of all time,” the pillow executive claimed. “Dominion is caught red-handed.”
It’s clear that Lindell is past caring about the billion-dollar lawsuit he faces from Dominion Voting Systems for pushing the Big Lie where it concerns their company! But if Lindell is truly worried about Clerk Peters’ wellbeing, he should take the advice of lawyers during the “Cyber Symposium” who warned Ron Watkins to stop talking about the data stolen from Mesa County. There was nothing that came out of that event to suggest the stolen data in any way validated conspiracy theories regarding Dominion, and Lindell’s track record of failure suggests no one associated with him is qualified to even analyze it.
And when it comes time to file criminal charges against Clerk Peters, none of this will count for squat.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis is right about one thing though. Tina Peters needs to come home.
And then she needs to get a lawyer who doesn’t talk to Mike Lindell.