Federal Judge Dismisses Ex-County Clerk’s Lawsuit to Block Prosecution in State Court

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A federal judge has dismissed a case filed by former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who sought to prevent District Attorney Dan Rubinstein from prosecuting her in state court. The decision comes just a month before Peters’ criminal trial is scheduled to begin.

In her civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, Peters claimed that Rubinstein, along with Colorado Attorney General Jena Griswold and U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland, violated her constitutional rights by investigating and charging her with alleged crimes. The lawsuit also requested a preliminary injunction to halt the upcoming trial on state charges of identity theft, misconduct in office, and tampering with election equipment. Peters, however, has denied these charges, asserting that she was acting as a whistleblower exposing flaws in the state’s election system.

U.S. District Judge Nina Wang dismissed Peters’ case against Rubinstein, stating that the supporting documents provided by Peters failed to convincingly demonstrate a valid reason for federal intervention in a state case. Wang emphasized that some of the documents presented by Peters were either irrelevant, non-existent, or based on her personal conclusions.

Wang’s ruling highlighted Peters’ failure to provide any legal basis or authority for her claim that Rubinstein was obligated to use computer experts to counter her own experts during the investigation of a third-party report commissioned by Peters. The report alleged that votes had been deleted and manipulated during the 2020 presidential and 2021 municipal elections. While Rubinstein’s investigation did uncover issues during those elections, they were attributed to Peters’ elections manager Sandra Brown, who was subsequently convicted on felony counts related to assisting Peters in copying election computer hard drives and divulging sensitive information to election conspiracy theorists.

Furthermore, Peters’ attempt to support her retaliation claim against Rubinstein was deemed insufficient by the court. Peters argued that Rubinstein had caused an attorney in a separate civil matter involving her and her ex-husband to withdraw from the case. However, Wang noted that Peters’ evidence consisted solely of her own statement and lacked an affidavit from the attorney confirming any action taken by Rubinstein.

It’s important to note that while Wang’s ruling applies solely to Rubinstein, it does not extend to Griswold and Garland, the other individuals named in Peters’ lawsuit. Rubinstein is now eligible to recover any costs his office incurred due to the lawsuit. Neither the Secretary of State’s Office nor the Justice Department have filed any active charges against Peters.

Peters’ criminal trial is still scheduled to take place next month on the state charges she faces, maintaining her innocence and claiming to have exposed vulnerabilities in the electoral system.