FBI Raids Home of GOP Election Official Linked to QAnon’s Ron Watkins

Tina Peters is accused of leaking sensitive election information to Watkins, who then shared it at a QAnon conference.

Nov 17 2021, 2:25pm
Unraveling viral disinformation and explaining where it came from, the harm it's causing, and what we should do about it.

The FBI has raided the home of a Republican election official in Colorado accused of facilitating the leak of sensitive election data to QAnon influencer Ron Watkins.

The raid on Tina Peters’ house took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning and coincided with raids on three other properties, including the home of Sherronna Bishop, who was formerly the campaign manager for Rep. Lauren Boebert.

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“We executed four federally court-authorized operations today to gather evidence in connection with the investigation into the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder's Office,” District Attorney Dan Rubinstein told Colorado Politics. “We did so with assistance from the DA's office from the 21st Judicial District, the Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI.”

Peters became a superstar in the world of election fraud conspiracy theories when she appeared on stage at the Cyber Symposium organized by MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell in August.

Peters is accused of allowing an unauthorized person access to a secure room where voting machines are stored, and permitting them to copy sensitive information from those machines. Days later, while employees from Dominion Voting Systems were performing a routine software upgrade on the machine, the same person was allowed into the room, where he recorded video footage of the upgrade taking place.

The video and the copied data were then leaked to Watkins, and the former 8kun administrator, who is now running for Congress in Arizona, presented the data during Lindell’s Cyber Symposium. 

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Peters confirmed the raid on her home in an interview on the online streaming service Lindell TV on Tuesday night. She said she was “terrified” when the officers called to her door.

“Essentially, they were soldiers in combat gear. They were not men in suits with badges,” Peters said. “They looked very much like they were in a combat zone—soldiers with automatic weapons and combat gear.”

However, video footage of the raid posted on Telegram portrayed a much more typical scene of a raid, with some police officers dressed in their uniforms and some federal agents wearing bulletproof vests over regular clothes.

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Peters is also facing an investigation by Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission over allegations that she violated a state constitutional gift ban by accepting flights on Lindell’s private plane, and other travel expenses when she attended the Cyber Symposium.

Lindell has tried to frame the raid as part of a widespread effort to undermine his attempt to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court next week. The case, assembled by a team of pro-Trump lawyers, will reportedly argue that China rigged the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

“[They’re] coming after citizens that have done nothing wrong,” Lindell falsely claimed during an appearance on Steve Bannon’s show on the Real America’s Voice network on Tuesday night.

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Lindell claimed, again without evidence, that the timing of the raid was linked to his lawsuit, which he says will be filed with the Supreme Court on Nov 23. Lindell told Bannon that some Democratic attorneys general have signed onto the lawsuit as well, but refused to say which ones. 

Lindell then claimed the raid was simply a “marketing” ploy by the government to divert attention away from his lawsuit.

“This is all a big marketing campaign, it’s propaganda,” Lindell said. “Hitler did it, Goebbels was the best at it back in Nazi Germany. It’s brainwashing.”

For the last six months, Lindell has repeatedly claimed to have irrefutable evidence of widespread election fraud in the 2020 election, claims he repeated on Tuesday night when his “interview” with former President Donald Trump was broadcast on his Frank Speech network. 

But, despite continually promising that the evidence was about to be produced, Lindell has never shown a scrap of evidence to back up his wild claims.

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Tagged:

FBI, Steve Bannon, election fraud, dominion, qanon, Disinfo Dispatch, Ron Watkins, MyPillow, Tina Peters

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