As Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland reports, the upcoming trial of former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on felony tampering and misconduct charges, which was provisionally set to begin next month, has been delayed until the summer as both sides process a huge dump of information from the federal side of the investigation:
The defense said it needs more time to examine a trove of new information and data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to the case. Peters faces ten state criminal charges but a federal investigation is ongoing.
The trial was originally scheduled to begin March 6 in Grand Junction, before the judge agreed to the delay. The prosecution and defense are expected to meet Feb. 22 to set a new trial date, likely this summer…
Peters has been charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and official misconduct, among other things, over allegedly using [another man’s] identity to create an office key card that a different man then used to access secure parts of the Mesa County elections office during a system update of the voting equipment.
Tina Peters, who enjoyed freedom to travel as a candidate for Secretary of State in 2022 that allowed her to be honored at Mar-a-Lago and the star of conferences dedicated to election conspiracy theories across the country, is to our knowledge generally restricted now from leaving the state as a condition of her pre-trial bond. Peters not only asserts her innocence, but claims to be both morally and legally justified in her actions as a “whistleblower” exposing the supposed theft of the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. Peters is of course far from alone in that belief despite none of her actions supplying any such evidence, and in general Peters’ support and opposition break consistently with belief in the larger “Big Lie.”
That means for as long as Peters remains an unconvicted felon, she will retain a base of unshakable support and remain influential in party politics. All three of the major candidates to be the next chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Erik Aadland, Aaron Wood, and Casper Stockham are on-the-record election deniers–and since Peters no longer has a trial starting up next month, she’ll have time to campaign for one of them. Peters’ criminal trial, in which she is innocent until proven guilty but also does not appear to be a close case with co-conspirators singing like canaries and Peters readily admitting to most of what’s alleged, looks to be the only thing that can put an end to Peters’ pernicious influence on her party.
Which is why, for all of Tina Peters’ complaints, the lack of a speedy trial won’t be one of them.