DENVER – A Mesa County judge on Thursday morning revoked the bond and issued a warrant for the arrest of Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters after she left the state for a right-wing sheriffs convention in Las Vegas without court approval.
Peters had been out on a $25,000 cash or surety bond following her indictment in March on 10 counts tied to a security breach of Mesa County elections system. Part of the bond conditions required her to receive court approval in order to leave Colorado.
Her counsel on July 8 filed a notice of travel, then filed an amended notice, but never asked to travel on July 12 or 13, according to a filing by 21st Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.
Rubinstein on July 11 filed an objection to the notice of travel from Peters’ attorney, Harvey Steinberg, saying that since Peters lost her primary election and is no longer a candidate for office, she should be treated “like all other criminal defendants on bond” and file a motion asking her bond terms be modified.
“Ms. Peters has less motivation to appear in court now that she is no longer a candidate,” Rubinstein wrote. “Additionally, she has evidenced through her travel prior to the election that she has the means to flee if she wants to.”
The Mesa County District Court judge was waiting on a response from the defense by July 15 but said Peters could not travel until Rubinstein’s motion was resolved.
“Any response to the attached motion is due on or before July 15, 2022. No travel is authorized until the attached objection is resolved,” District Court Judge Matthew David Barrett wrote in the July 11 order just before noon that day.
On Wednesday, Rubinstein filed a motion to revoke Peters’ bond, citing the speech she made in Las Vegas and a filing Peters made with the Secretary of State’s Office on July 12, which was notarized in Clark County, Nevada.
The filing said Rubinstein “learned” Peters was in Las Vegas for the Constitutional Sheriff’s and Peace Officer’s Association and that an investigator with the district attorney’s office discovered video of her speaking at the conference on July 12.
The Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officer's Association, according to its website, believes "the vertical separation of powers in the Constitution makes it clear that the power of the sheriff even supersedes the powers of the President [of the United States]."
This particular event was moved up from September to July, according to the organization “due to the urgent nature of the election fraud across America and our nationwide call for election fraud investigations by sheriffs and law enforcement.”
The group also says the widely debunked film “2000 Mules” contains “very compelling physical evidence.”
The person who notarized Peters’ letter to the Secretary of State’s Office also confirmed that the letter was signed in Las Vegas.
The Colorado Secretary of State's Office said Thursday it formally received the letter that was notarized in Nevada on Thursday morning. In the letter, Peters asks for a recount in the Republican primary for Secretary of State — a race she lost by 14 points last month. Ron Hanks, who also lost the Republican U.S. Senate primary, also asked for a recount.
Rubinstein wrote in the motion that Peters’ counsel never asked for her to be able to travel over that time period, that the travel request had not been granted, and that Peters was still at the Mesa County jail with her former elections manager Sandra Brown, who was arrested earlier this week in relation to Peters’ and Belinda Knisley's cases, until 5 p.m. on July 11, after the court had already said she could not travel out of state.
Judge Barrett on Thursday morning, just after 8 a.m., revoked Peters’ bond and issued a no bond warrant for her arrest “pending a hearing before me to address the matters set forth in the motion.”
On Thursday afternoon just before 1 p.m., Steinberg filed a motion to quash the arrest warrant and a request for a hearing with the court, primarily arguing that he had not seen the judge’s July 11 order by the time she had left and that he did not properly provide the court with notice of her travel to Las Vegas.
In the motion, Steinberg wrote that Peters email him and her other lawyers on July 7 saying she would be going to the conference on July 12, but Steinberg did not notice she had those plans.
Because of that, he argued, his office did not prepare or file a proper notice with the court, which Steinberg said Peters was unaware of.
When Judge Barrett issued the July 11 order at 11:41 a.m. saying prosecutors’ objections needed to be resolved first, Steinberg wrote that “he did not see it until later.”
“When Mr. Steinberg did see the Court’s prohibition on travel, it was too late,” the filing says. It goes on to add that Peters did not know about the prohibition on travel until Wednesday.
Steinberg also said in the filing Thursday afternoon that he had spoken with Rubinstein, whom Steinberg said “stated that he would not object to quashing the warrant if Ms. Peters appears at a forthwith hearing on her motion to quash.”
Steinberg wrote that Peters’ bondman would be willing to testify that Peters had not violated her bond conditions and that he knew she was going to Las Vegas on July 12.
“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 argued. “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.”
Court records indicate that Peters is set for a 3:30 p.m. hearing Friday in front of Judge Barrett.
The revocation of Peters’ bond comes two days after Brown was arrested for investigation of two felony charges tied to the election systems tampering and hard drive imaging. The affidavit for her arrest also contained new details about those who were involved in the alleged conspiracy to tamper with the machines.
The Colorado Times Recorder reported Wednesday that Peters was at the Las Vegas conference and discussed having dinner with election conspiracy theorist Conan Hayes, who was purportedly involved in the operation, according to the affidavit, as well as Rep. Lauren Boebert and Boebert’s former campaign manager, Sherronna Bishop.
A spokesperson for Boebert's U.S. House office said in a statement Thursday that Boebert "is not aware of ever having met with the person who allegedly took images related to Tina Peters' indictment and never encouraged such images to be taken."
"Any claim to the contrary is false," the spokesperson added.