Six people in Nevada ultimately signed up to be fake electors. They included Michael McDonald, the chairman of the Nevada GOP, and Jim DeGraffenreid, a committee member of the Republican National Committee. They signed fake electoral certificates outside the state Capitol building in Carson City on the same day that the real electors cast their votes inside. McDonald and DeGraffenreid have since testified before a federal grand jury in D.C. about their role in the plot for special counsel Jack Smith in exchange for immunity from federal charges, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
That immunity does not extend to state-level proceedings. But Ford had previously signaled that he might not bring charges against the scheme’s participants because there was no directly applicable law that they broke. “As you all know, I have been silent on Nevada’s fake electors, except to say that the matter was on our radar,” he told state lawmakers earlier this year. “With it on our radar, we ascertained that current state statutes did not directly address the conduct in question—to the dismay of some, and I’m sure, to the delight of others.”
This is a familiar problem when charging participants in the various schemes. Trump, for example, was not charged by the Justice Department with insurrection, the closest analogue to staging a coup attempt in the U.S. Code, for apparent First Amendment reasons. The special counsel’s office instead prosecuted him for conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstructing an official proceeding. The Georgia case, by comparison, is structured as a racketeering case to reflect the most applicable offenses under state law.