Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters isn’t responding to an order issued by Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold to turn over election equipment, video footage and documents after a password to county election equipment surfaced online.
She may not be speaking to Griswold or responding to requests for comment, but that doesn’t mean Peters has been silent.
The Mesa County clerk on Tuesday evening aired her grievances during an appearance in South Dakota at a symposium hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump who has pushed election conspiracy theories that have been disproven in countless courts.
Ahead of Peters' appearance, Griswold had issued a press release indicating her office began inspecting voting equipment and documents while “accompanied at all times by officials from Mesa County.” The release also indicated Griswold’s office was in contact with Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein, who is conducting a separate and independent investigation.
9News’ Kyle Clark on Tuesday tweeted Rubinstein, a Republican, told him that his office has opened a criminal investigation into the voting system password breach. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported a man who is not an employee of the Mesa County clerk’s office allegedly leaked the passwords to conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins before they were posted on the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit.
At Lindell’s symposium, Peters labeled Griswold’s inspection a “raid” and put forward allegations of nefarious behavior, including coordination with Dominion Voting Systems, the provider of the county’s election equipment and a frequent target for election conspiracy theories.
“We don’t know what they were doing in there because for several hours they wouldn’t even let my chief deputy, who is the acting clerk for Mesa County when I’m absent, they wouldn’t let her observe what the Secretary of State and Dominion were doing in my office,” Peters said at the event.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported no one from Dominion “were known to be present during Tuesday’s investigation of Peters’ office.”
Griswold’s office has indicated the results of the investigation could lead to decertification of some of the county’s voting equipment, and the Daily Sentinel reported that could come as soon as Thursday if Peters doesn’t fully comply with Griswold’s order.
That could present a problem as Peters is scheduled to remain at Lindell’s South Dakota event through Thursday. She hinted during her Tuesday night appearance she planned to release more information on the Mesa County voting systems on Thursday.