FBI searches 4 locations in Mesa County Clerks Office investigation

The FBI and state law enforcement officials searched four locations in Mesa and Garfield counties Tuesday in connection with a criminal investigation into employees of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, a Republican, and others in her office have been under criminal investigation over a possible election-security breach in August, after voting equipment passwords were posted online by a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office assisted the FBI in the operation, which was described by Mesa County spokesperson Stephanie Reecy as “federally-authorized law enforcement actions into potential criminal activity by employees of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office and others associated with those employees.”

“No arrests were made, and the operations are related to ongoing investigations. Per order of a federal court, all documents related to these operations are sealed,” Reecy said in an email.

In August, search warrants were executed on the Mesa County elections office and cellphones used by Peters.

The activity on Tuesday morning garnered attention after an appearance by Peters on LindellTV, an online show run by Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow and a 2020 election conspiracy theorist who arranged Peters’ lodging when she was out of the state in August.

Peters said the FBI “raided” her home at 6 a.m., according to Colorado Politics, and those of some of her friends. “I was terrified,” she said.

On his show, Lindell said one of the homes searched in Garfield County belonged to Sherronna Bishop, a former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Politics reported.

Peters and Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley also have been the subject of civil actions. After the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office filed a lawsuit in August, a judge barred them both from overseeing the Nov. 3 election. Peters is also facing a lawsuit alleging campaign finance and election official contribution violations.

The controversial clerk has become an advocate for those who make claims, without evidence, of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. She filed counterclaims to the secretary of state’s lawsuit alleging the deletion of election records.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission ruled a complaint against Peters related to her acceptance and solicitation of contributions in her official capacity was non-frivolous and could move forward.

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