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February 08, 2024 10:57 AM UTC

Tina Peters' Legal Defense Officially Crumbling

  • by: Colorado Pols
Tina Peters on the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago.

On Tuesday, The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby broke the news that indicted former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ trial set to begin Friday would be delayed until this summer after Peters abruptly fired her second set of attorneys. Since Peters’ indictment on a range of felony and misconduct charges stemming from her failed attempt to supply nonexistent evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump, Peters has repeatedly sought to delay her trial while continuing to bask in the alt-facts limelight as a bit celebrity in the convoluted narrative of the “Big Lie.”

Today, Ashby updates with the rest of the story behind Peters’ decision to fire her second set of lawyers–and besides the obvious benefit of further delaying the trial in which Peters is generally expected to be convicted, we learn that the situation was forced by Peters’ attorney being unwilling to present knowingly false evidence at trial:

According to court filings, the situation started on Monday, when Peters’ then attorney Douglas Richards filed a motion to withdraw from the case…

At first, prosecutors thought Richards’ motion was to convene what is known as a Schultheis hearing. That’s based on a 1981 Colorado Supreme Court ruling that said defense attorneys have an affirmative duty to withdraw from a case if their client demands they call witnesses or introduce evidence that they know is false.

And that attorney must tell the court why he or she is withdrawing, according to that ruling…

But before that could happen, Peters sent an email to Richards firing him late Monday. Richards also received an email from Peters’ new attorney, Carbondale lawyer Michael Edminister, telling him Richards no longer could contact Peters.

In short, Peters’ attorney was about to spill the beans that her “defense” consists entirely of Mike Lindell-grade poppycock about the 2020 election, specious allegations that have already been found baseless by every competent examination–and Peters fired her lawyers rather than allowing them to withdraw because they couldn’t argue a case they knew was false. It’s possible there are more specific falsehoods they couldn’t argue, like details about Peters’ alleged identity theft of an innocent contractor to allow an election conspiracy theorist to access equipment, but because Peters fired her lawyer before he could fully explain why he wanted of the case we won’t know.

What we do know is that the judge’s patience has finally been exhausted with this latest last-ditch delay tactic. Peters is being given no more representational do-overs, and if necessary the judge says she’ll have to represent herself rather than brook further delay. Peters’ erratic and frequently self-injurious behavior in this case suggests that she may not fully understand the gravity of the situation, but at some point that’s no longer the criminal justice system’s problem.

Unless Peters comes to her senses before July and makes a deal, we can predict with some confidence how this will end.

And we hope for Peters’ sake she comes to her senses.


3 thoughts on “Tina Peters’ Legal Defense Officially Crumbling

  1. I doubt Tina will get a plea offer no matter what she does now. Her co-conspirators got all that cheese, plus she's shown no remorse or contrition only defiance, she routinely insults the judge and DA publicly on her "show," and has cost taxpayers millions. She's going to prison, and she knows it. Her only chance is to delay it as long as she can.

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