Elec­toral Col­lege.

Of­fi­cials had warned Baca de­fy­ing his oath could bring charges.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Ea­son

Leader of “Hamil­ton Elec­tors” could face charges for de­fy­ing oath.

The Colorado sec­re­tary of state on Wed­nes­day re­ferred pres­i­den­tial elec­tor Micheal Baca to the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice for in­ves­ti­ga­tion, two days af­ter Baca voted for Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich in ap­par­ent vi­o­la­tion of state law and an oath he took just mo­ments ear­lier.

Baca was a leader of the “Hamil­ton Elec­tors” move­ment, a group of pre­dom­i­nantly Demo­cratic Elec­toral Col­lege mem­bers who had hoped to join with Repub­li­cans to elect some­one other than Don­ald Trump. The move­ment crum­bled, with just two Repub­li­cans vot­ing against Trump, who eas­ily cleared the 270 elec­toral vote thresh­old needed to be elected.

Nonethe­less, the scene at the Colorado Capi­tol on Mon­day was a dra­matic one. At­tor­neys ar­gued over the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of re­quir­ing elec­tors to vote for Hil­lary Clin­ton, win­ner of the pop­u­lar elec­tion in Colorado, right up un­til the votes were fi­nally cast.

Af­ter he cast his bal­lot for Ka­sich, Baca was re­placed with an­other elec­tor who voted for Clin­ton. Baca’s at­tor­ney chal­lenged the re­moval, say­ing the sec­re­tary of state lacked the author­ity to do so un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The elec­tors had ear­lier been warned they could face mis­de­meanor charges if they did not vote for Clin­ton, the sec­re­tary of state’s of­fice said in a re­lease.

In a let­ter to the at­tor­ney gen­eral, Deputy Sec­re­tary of State Suzanne Staiert stressed that Baca took an oath say­ing he would vote for the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who won Colorado and then he “cast a bal­lot con­trary to the oath.”

That vi­o­lated a statute stat­ing that each “pres­i­den­tial elec­tor shall vote for the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and, by sep­a­rate bal­lot, vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who re­ceived the high­est num­ber of votes at the pre­ced­ing gen­eral elec­tion in this state,” Staiert wrote.

The at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a mes­sage seek­ing com­ment.

Baca’s at­tor­ney, Jason We­soky, de­clined to com­ment on an on­go­ing crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sec­re­tary of State Wayne Wil­liams had pre­vi­ously sug­gested that elec­tors who broke their oaths could face per­jury charges. And lead­ing up to the Elec­toral Col­lege vote, Den­ver District Judge Elizabeth Starrs is­sued a court or­der rul­ing that state law com­pels elec­tors to vote for the gen­eral elec­tion win­ner.

“If (pres­i­den­tial elec­tors) take the oath and then they vi­o­late the statute, there will be reper­cus­sions,” Starrs said in an or­der from the bench.

Baca was not party to that case, al­though two other elec­tors were.

The judge de­clined to out­line the pos­si­ble penal­ties but said she be­lieves state law al­lows elec­tors

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