An FBI raid in Colorado is being denounced as part of the politicization of the Justice Department, coming on the heels of a similar raid on the homes of journalists associated with Project Veritas.
Last week, the FBI raided four homes in western Colorado, according to KKCO-TV.
Mesa County, Colorado, Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, a Republican, was among those whose houses were targeted.
“Today large teams of heavily armed federal agents, using a battering ram to break down doors, raided the homes of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and several of her friends and colleagues, mostly elderly women in their mid-60s,” a statement from her legal defense fund said. KKCO reported.
“This is a level of weaponization of the Justice Department we haven’t seen since the McCarthy era. Thank God Tina wasn’t protesting critical race theory at a Virginia school board meeting or they might have brought two battering rams,” the statement said.
During an interview on Lindell TV, an online channel operated by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Peters filled in more details, according to the website Colorado Politics. She said multiple devices were seized.
“The FBI raided my home at 6 a.m. this morning, accusing me of committing a crime,” Peters told Lindell, according to Colorado Politics. “And they raided the homes of my friends, mostly older women. I was terrified.
“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.”
Peters has been claiming there were irregularities in the 2020 election.
“You know, I refuse to give up. I’m more scared than ever because of the tactics they are doing for an innocent person who was just doing her job,” she said.
Lindell said one home raided belonged to Sherronna Bishop, a former campaign manager of Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Colorado Politics reported.
Bishop said that in the raid she was handcuffed and her 18-year-old daughter was “manhandled,” according to Just the News.
She said she was told she was suspected of causing “intentional damage to a protected computer, wire fraud and conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer.”
“I don’t know anything about this,” she told Lindell co-hosd Brannon Howse, according to Just the News. “They couldn’t explain any of this. I will tell you why: They were at my home to intimidate me, to shut me up, because I was using my First Amendment rights to advocate for Tina Peters on the issue of Dominion [voting machines] and the damage done in our election. And they’ll never be held accountable. Instead, they will criminalize this woman who has stood up.”
The legal issue that triggered the FBI action is an alleged security breach involving Mesa County elections equipment. The 21st Judicial District Attorney’s office, and the Colorado Attorney General’s office are conducting a criminal investigation.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and 21st Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein issued a statement on the raids.
“Yesterday, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office—along with our FBI partners—conducted authorized enforcement actions in support of an ongoing investigation into the alleged election system breach in Mesa County. We have reviewed a statement from Tina Peters’ legal defense fund that claims a level of force during the execution of this joint federal-state law enforcement operation,” the statement said, according to Just the News.
“At no time was force used on Ms. Peters or her home. Ms. Peters was allowed to move around her home and fix herself breakfast while agents gathered items before departing. We are issuing this statement to clear up inaccuracies about what occurred during yesterday’s enforcement action. We will continue to conduct a thorough investigation based on facts and the law, including using proper law enforcement tools such as the judicially authorized search that was executed properly in this matter,” the statement said.
The FBI has come under fire for selective enforcement tactics after three residences tied to Project Veritas were searched by federal authorities, ostensibly in connection with the theft of a diary belonging to President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden.
Even the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union has protested the raids.
“Project Veritas has engaged in disgraceful deceptions, and reasonable observers might not consider their activities to be journalism at all. Nevertheless, the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom,” said Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, in a statement on the ACLU’s website.
“Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures,” Hauss said.
“We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement officers review only those materials that were lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a legitimate criminal investigation,” he said.
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