Judge revokes Clerk Tina Peters’ bond after unauthorized out-of-state travel

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at the 2022 Colorado Republican State Assembly on April 9, 2022 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. She won a spot on the GOP primary ballot for Secretary of State there despite being under grand jury indictment felony indictment for alleged election security breaches, in a case overseen by a Republican prosecutor.

This is a developing story.

A judge in Mesa County has agreed to revoke the bond of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and issued a warrant for her arrest, after she traveled out of state in violation of her bond.

However, Peters' attorney filed a motion Thursday taking the blame for both failing to file Peters' travel plans with the court and for not alerting her that she was required to stay in the state for the moment. He asked the court to quash -- or cancel -- the warrant at an upcoming hearing.

Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein filed the revocation request early Thursday after finding evidence that Peters was in Nevada without permission this week. Peters was featured as a speaker at an event with the Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officers Association.

In his motion to revoke her bond, Rubenstein noted that Peters filed a request for other out-of-state travel earlier this month, but hadn't listed the Nevada trip, and that his office is in the process of objecting to those other requests. The judge planned to decide on the dispute by July 15 and had ordered her not to go anywhere until then.

The fact that Peters was out of state also became evident when a formal letter, notarized July 12 in Clark County, Nevada, was posted online from Peters asking Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold for a recount in the Republican primary race for Secretary of State.

Peters came in last place in the primary, losing by a margin well outside what's required to trigger an automatic recount.  

She disputed the results immediately and has continued to maintain, without evidence, that the election was compromised. 

“I have reasons to believe extensive malfeasance occurred in the June 2022 primary, and that the apparent outcome of this election does not reflect the will of Colorado voters not only for myself but also for many other America First statewide and local primary candidates,” states the letter from Peters.

In response to the arrest warrant, Peters' attorney, Harvey Steinberg of Denver, submitted a motion explaining that Peters had sent him an email asking him to let the court know about her Nevada travel plans, but that he'd overlooked it in a longer email chain. He went on to write that he was away from the office when the judge issued the temporary no-travel order and failed to let Peters know about it.

The motion states, "On July 14, 2022, Mr. Steinberg spoke with Daniel P. Rubinstein, District Attorney for the Twenty-First Judicial District of Colorado and explained that Ms. Peters had gone to Las Vegas without knowing that it was prohibited. Mr. Rubinstein stated that he would not object to quashing the warrant if Ms. Peters appears at a forthwith hearing on her motion to quash."

Earlier this year Peters was arrested on ten charges for allegedly helping an unauthorized person access the county’s election equipment and attend a secure software update. Images of the Dominion Voting machine hard drives and passwords were later posted online by election conspiracy theorists.

Reports based on the hard drives of those machines have been debunked.

A judge already barred Peters from overseeing the midterm elections for her county.

“We didn't lose. We just found out more fraud."

Tina Peters to supporters at a watch party after her primary loss on June 28th.

While Peters has admitted to many of the allegations she has also defended her actions and maintains that she did nothing wrong. She has long been a champion of false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. 

Anderson, a former Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder and a past executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, won Colorado's Republican primary race with 44 percent of the vote. Peters and another candidate split the remainder of the vote, with Peters coming in third out of three candidates.

Peters’ trip to Nevada is just the latest development related to the Mesa county security breach.

Also this week, former Mesa county election’s manager Sandra Brown was arrested for conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation and attempting to influence a public servant. The DA's motion said Peters was present at the jail when Brown turned herself in on July 11.

Brown was the election’s manager in May of 2021, when Peters allegedly helped the unauthorized person, allegedly a California man named Conan Hayes, access the election equipment and make copies of the voting machine hard drives. 

Brown’s arrest warrant lays out more details about what led up to and occurred during the annual upgrade of the Dominion voting machines last year. And it clearly names Hayes, a former pro surfer who has become a leading figure in the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement, as a key participant in the security breach for the first time.

More coverage of the 2020 Mesa County voting machine security breach