A Colorado judge on Thursday ordered the arrest of Tina Peters, the indicted Mesa County clerk and leading election denier who lost last month’s Republican primary for secretary of state.
District Judge Matthew Barrett issued the no-bond warrant, granting District Attorney Dan Rubinstein’s request, after Peters allegedly violated the terms of her bond by leaving the state without permission.
Rubinstein says Peters violated the terms of her bond by traveling to Nevada without the court’s approval.
Peters was in a photo posted to social media with Gail Golec, a candidate running for a seat on Arizona’s Maricopa County Supervisors Board, at a conference on July 12 in Las Vegas. “Strategizing next steps for #election protection,” said the caption, taken at the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association event in Nevada. In the affidavit to revoke bond filed Wednesday, Rubinstein noted that Peters also took the stage at the conference.
Additionally, a letter requesting a recount of her failed attempt to run for the secretary of state’s office during the June primary is signed by Peters and notarized on July 12 in Nevada, according to the DA. Investigators verified the date and location of the notarization, a violation of Peters’ bail.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s office told CNN it received the notarized letter from Peters on Thursday morning.
In a motion to quash the arrest warrant filed Thursday afternoon, Peters’ attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said he had been out of the office Monday, when the court imposed new restrictions on Peters’ out-of-state travel, “and did not see it until later.” Steinberg said he had failed to notify Peters of the restrictions “until it was too late,” and – though Peters had told Steinberg about her travel plans – he failed to pass those plans on to the court.
Steinberg said in the motion that Peters’ July 7 email with her travel details was “part of an email thread, and it was not noticed that she had provided her plans to travel to Las Vegas on July 12, 2022.”
“Ms. Peters simply did not know that she was prohibited from traveling to Las Vegas, and her conduct proves it,” Steinberg wrote.
“She publicly appeared with law enforcement officers in Las Vegas, and she livestreamed her appearance for everyone to see. If she knew that the Court prohibited her travel, she would not have publicized that she was in Las Vegas,” he said in the motion. “Further, Ms. Peters told her bondsman that she was going to Las Vegas before she left. If she were knowingly violating bond conditions, she certainly would not have told him her plans.”
Steinberg asked the court for a hearing via WebEx on the matter.
It’s the latest in a series of legal battles for Peters, who has emerged as a prominent figure on the far right in Colorado after espousing former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Peters last month sought the Republican nomination for Colorado secretary of state – a position that would have allowed her to take over the election machinery in a state that conducts its elections by mail, a process she has baselessly claimed is rife with fraud and said she wants to scrap.
But Republicans rejected Peters’ bid, instead nominating Pam Anderson, a former county clerk who has defended the integrity of Colorado’s elections and ran as someone competent to manage that process.
Additionally, Peters was indicted by a grand jury after prosecutors said Peters and her deputies facilitated a security breach in May 2021.The breach resulted in confidential voting machine logins, and forensic images of their hard drives, being published in a QAnon-affiliated Telegram channel in early August 2021. She pleaded not guilty and was not allowed to travel out of state without permission from the court.
In May, after a lawsuit brought by Griswold – a separate legal proceeding – a district judge stripped Peters of her duties overseeing this year’s elections in Mesa County.
Peters has aligned herself with far-right figures who have advanced Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud. She appeared at the “Cyber Symposium,” a gathering of election deniers last year in which a host of debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were promoted, and in Colorado with MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell.
CNN has requested comment from Peters. She has publicly asserted that the investigation was partisan and politically motivated.
She told Colorado Public Radio this month that the indictments she faces are “laughable.”
“If I have to be controversial to get the truth out, I’m not afraid of that. And that would make me dangerous, ‘cause I’m not afraid,” she said.
This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.