Lauren Boebert’s ex-manager Sherronna Bishop also targeted in FBI raid on MAGA Election Clerk Tina Peters
Colorado Election Clerk Tina Peters woke up on Tuesday to find FBI agents preparing to conduct an early morning search of her home, apparently due to an election data leak from a non-official. yet identified QAnon conspiracy theorists. Agents elsewhere in the state also raided the homes of three of Peters’ associates, including the former campaign manager of Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
But Peters’ troubles don’t end with an FBI raid on his house. Instead, the right-wing star is embroiled in a host of legal and political issues.
Peters took office in 2019 after campaigning against supposed waste in the Mesa County Clerk’s Office. Under his leadership, however, the clerk’s office found itself embroiled in repeated election-related slippages – the same kind of wrongdoing Peters and other Trump fans cite when criticizing the election.
In Peters’ first year as clerk, his office forgot to count over 570 ballots because they left them out in a ballot box for months. The following year, the clerk’s office installed a faulty ballot box that sent paper ballots flying through town in the wind. (By this point, most of Peters’ original 32 employees had quit or been fired, including one employee who had been hired to help Peters clean up his election.)
But Peters’ biggest electoral problem began in late May, when someone turned off security cameras monitoring Mesa County voting machines. During this outage, someone using the name “Gerald Wood” accessed the voting machines and copied internal data, which was quickly disclosed to Ron Watkins, a former administrator of the QAnon 8kun hosting forum who was accused of leading the conspiracy theory movement.
The leaked data showed nothing unusual during the 2020 election in Mesa County. Yet the Mesa County leaks became a topic of discussion at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s “Cyber ââSymposium” on alleged voter fraud in August. Peters traveled to the symposium aboard Lindell’s private jet (she also used taxpayer money to purchase a United Airlines ticket for the event) and gave a speech about the data leak onstage, making d ‘she a star among amateur election fraud detectives. But Watkins, who also attended the event, plunged the symposium into chaos when he said his lawyer warned him election data was potentially stolen in Mesa County.
“ Lindell criticized the FBI’s decision to use rams to carry out the warrants, before abruptly hanging up.“
A spokesperson for Watkins’ Congressional campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the FBI raids.
Peters went into hiding after the speech, with Lindell claiming to have hidden her in one or more “safe houses” since August. She returned to Colorado in mid-September.
Legal complaints piled up in Peters’ absence. In addition to an investigation into the voting machine violation, Peters faces a complaint filed last week by the Election Division of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, which accuses Peters of not having filed a campaign finance report since January 2019. This is particularly troubling as Peters actively solicits donations for his re-election, the Colorado secretary of state’s office said. . The agency says it has sent Peters two warning letters in the past two months, telling him to report his campaign finances.
Other Colorado agencies are raising similar red flags over Peters’ finances. Colorado Independent Ethics Commission Tuesday ruled that an ethics complaint from a local activist against Peters can go ahead. The lawsuit accused Peters of violating Colorado’s constitution by accepting gifts worth more than $ 50. The complaint cited Lindell’s favors, including plane tickets on his private plane.
In a brief conversation with The Daily Beast, Lindell criticized the FBI’s decision to use rams to carry out the warrants, before abruptly hanging up.
Much of the FBI’s investigation is still unclear. A spokesperson for the FBI office in Denver said only that the agency “carried out law enforcement actions authorized today in support of an ongoing investigation.”
Other Peters associates were also subject to legal review. Peters deputy Belinda Knisley was charged in September with second degree burglary and a cybercrime misdemeanor, after allegedly violating an order to move away from the clerk’s office, where she was accused of creating a “hostile” working environment. Knisley is accused of breaking into the office in late August and using Peters’ work computer to access the county’s secure network. (At this point, Peters was already in hiding.)
During a live chat with Peters on her Tuesday night webcast, Lindell said one of the homes searched that night was Sherronna Bishop’s. A peer of Peters who also spoke at Lindell’s Cyber ââSymposium, Bishop is a former campaign manager for Boebert, working with the current MP until after Boebert’s first victory in June 2020. Boebert also embraced the baseless idea that the 2020 election was stolen.
Neither Bishop nor Boebert returned the Daily Beast’s requests for comment.