The FBI raided the home of a Colorado elections official accused of leaking data that appeared on a QAnon forum

  • The FBI raided the home of Tina Peters, a Colorado elections official, local media reported.

  • Peters is accused of leaking election machine data that appeared on a QAnon Telegram channel.

  • In an interview, she claimed she was the victim of government persecution.

The FBI on Tuesday raided the home of a Colorado elections official accused of leaking election machine data that later appeared on a site linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.

Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials were involved in searching the home of Tina Peters, the former Mesa County Clerk, as well as the homes of three of her associates, the Mesa County District Attorney's office told local media.

"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."

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the FBI's Denver field office told Insider that its agents had conducted "authorized law enforcement actions' on Tuesday in relation to an ongoing investigation.

A judge last month banned Peters from overseeing elections in the state after Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, accused her in a lawsuit of involvement in leaking sensitive elections data, Colorado's CPR News outlet reported.

According to Griswold's lawsuit, the data was taken when Peters invited an unauthorized person to attend a meeting between representatives from the election machine company and county election officials last year.

The information was subsequently published on the Telegram channel of Ron Watkins, the man alleged to have started the QAnon movement, the lawsuit said.

Peters has appeared sympathetic to election conspiracy theories. In August, she appeared at the "Cyber Symposium" on voter fraud hosted by the MyPillow CEO and Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

QAnon conspiracy theorists played a key role in pushing false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump as a result of mass fraud involving the manipulation of voting machines.

In an Tuesday interview on Lindell's online TV show, Peters said the raids "terrified" her, and claimed she was a victim of government persecution.

"They want to shut me up, shut me out, prosecute me, do whatever they can to villainize and demonize me just to cover up their dirty deeds," she said. "I can't unsee what I've seen."

Rory McShane, who is organizing a defense fund on behalf of Peters, criticized the raid.

"Yesterday 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," McShane told Insider. "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."

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