As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a jury in Mesa County has returned a guilty verdict against former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in a misdemeanor obstruction of justice case: a case that marks the beginning of what could be a series of convictions ultimately connected to Peters’ admitted scheme to steal proprietary election system data in a failed plot to prove the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump:
Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was found guilty Friday of obstruction of government operations, but acquitted on a charge that she obstructed a peace officer…
Peters’ conviction…means that separate charges of contempt of court can go forward. That’s the underlying case that led to the search warrant and subsequent obstruction charges.
There, Peters is accused of using the iPad to video record a court proceeding for her former deputy, Belinda Knisley, who at the time was facing burglary and cybercrime charges for allegedly entering the clerk’s office after being told to stay away. At that time, Knisley was under investigation by county human resources officials for creating a hostile work environment, allegedly telling clerk staff not to cooperate with state and federal investigations into tampering with election equipment.
The short version is that Peters was convicted of obstructing investigators who sought access to her iPad at a Grand Junction bagel shop in 2022. When police arrived to back up those investigators, Peters picked up a charge of obstructing the police as well–and that’s the charge Peters was acquitted of. Next, Peters will face a charge of contempt of court stemming from the use of that iPad to illegally record court proceedings, all leading up to Peters’ “main event” trial on misconduct and impersonation charges related to the actual theft of Dominion Voting Systems data.
Although not the final stop on Peters’ journey through the criminal justice system, this does mark the first conviction related in any way to her conduct as Mesa County Clerk since the 2020 elections. Sentencing isn’t until next month, which means Peters will now compete in the race to be the next Colorado Republican Party chair as a convicted criminal awaiting up to six months in jail.