Tina Peters is the MAGA-supporting Mesa County, Colorado, elections clerk who along with her deputy, Belinda Knisley, was recently indicted on charges connected to breaching election security, allowing the Dominion voting machines under their care be tampered with by a third party—a man named Gerald Wood. During that time she reportedly flew around on pillow hawker Mike Lindell’s private jet, was bunked up in one of the MyPillow CEO’s “safe houses,” and appeared to make baseless election fraud claims at Lindell’s marathon-of-nothingness “Cyber Symposium” imagination-dumborium.
On Tuesday, Lindell and others appeared at a so-called “Election Truth Rally” at the Colorado Capitol. Lindell might be ridiculous but besides Peters, the Colorado Sun reports that “Republicans, including state Reps. Dave Williams, Ron Hanks, Richard Holtorf and Mark Baisley,” were all at an event that is promoting the idea the 2020 elections were stolen from just Donald Trump—and no other candidates. During the rally, Lindell boasted that Tina Peters’ shady legal defense fund (which is already being investigated) got a big boost from Lindell himself. “I probably put in three, four or five, maybe $800,000, of my own money,” he said.
That would likely be an ethics violation.
According to the Sun, “Colorado’s Constitution prohibits elected officials from accepting a gift greater than $65, including for travel.” You can see the law here. During all of this time, Peters has remained an elected official, albeit with virtually everyone asking her to resign. In fact, after being arrested twice in one week, Peters announced she would be leaving her post to run for Colorado secretary of state—a position that would put her in charge of all the Centennial State’s election security. Meanwhile, Colorado’s actual Secretary of State Jena Griswold has successfully been able to keep Peters and Knisley banned from any participation in the state’s elections since 2020, and has continued to pursue legal avenues that would have Peters permanently banned from overseeing elections.
When pressed on this reported $800,000, Peters’ defense is that he’s dumb as a brick. She has no knowledge of Lindell paying for her defense. Who is this “defense”? What is money? Where am I? Of course, as Colorado NBC affiliate 9 News reports, Peters’ amnesia contradicts her previous stance of telling her supporters to “send money to Lindell for her legal defense.” Peters’ full statement:
“Mike Lindell, is the CEO of My Pillow and while speaking to reporters at the rally, Lindell guessed that he had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into legally defending election integrity efforts. Tina Peters is focused on running a race to become the next Secretary of State of Colorado and has no knowledge of Lindell’s spending.”
The rally and the ongoing disinformation being spread by conspiracy fascists like Peters and Lindell prompted a group of Colorado county clerks from all over the state and political spectrum to hold a press conference of their own. Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes, a Republican, told the press, “This flurry of reports is a deliberate strategy by those who seek to undermine our elections to create the impression that something is wrong with our election systems, while they simultaneously provide no proof or information that assert that any election results were inaccurate or would have changed in any way, by the findings of these reports.”
MyPillow guy Mike Lindell is either going broke, or he’s flush with money, or he’s a conman—or he’s all three. The rabid intensity with which he has gone after promoting (while producing nothing in support of) the conspiracy theory that the 2020 elections were stolen from Donald Trump by “globalists” is anxiety-producing. Known as the “Big Lie,” the theory is elastic and stretches to meet the expectations of whomever asks a simple question piercing the logic behind it.
Peters has not maintained her innocence in all of this, since she seems to have clearly broken laws and abused the power and privilege of her position as Mesa County Clerk and Recorder. Instead, like any good Trump-loving MAGA person, Peters has cried and cried about how she is being persecuted. You know, like Jesus. During Tuesday’s rally, Peters told the people assembled that she isn’t running for secretary of state for herself; she’s doing it for humanity. “I went, ‘I got to stand up.’ I said, ‘I’m running into the fire for you.’” I can’t remember which gospel it’s in, probably Luke because of how eloquent it is, but we all remember the story of Jesus and his multiplying for the masses:
“Late in the afternoon on Election Day, the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find comfort and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
He replied, “You give them some more vague conspiracies to ponder. But first turn off the security cameras.”
They answered, “We have only five half-baked conspiracy ideas and two fundraisers.”
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about 50 each.” The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. Taking the half-baked conspiracy ideas and two fundraisers and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke election security by having some random guy download secured software and data, as well as giving him passwords to access elections equipment he was not vetted for. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all chattered and heard and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of donated dark money and broken dreams that were left over.”
It goes something like that. It is no surprise that through all of this, Mike Lindell has continued to support Peters. After Peters’ indictment, Lindell told The Daily Beast that this was all par-for-the-conspiracy course: “You know what this indictment is, they’re trying to cover it all up, because they committed crimes. Serious crimes. Griswold, Colorado, Dominion.”
Secretary of State Jena Griswold tried to explain things as simply as possible to The Daily Beast, pointing out that Peters represents one of the only people for whom there is real hard evidence that she compromised the security of our elections. “She’s tremendously unfit to see her county’s election and unfit to be the chief election official for the state of Colorado,” Griswold said.
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