Group looking into Utah AG’s involvement in ‘bogus’ 2020 election lawsuit

Mar 9, 2022, 5:11 PM
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes speaks with legislators prior to Gov. Spencer Cox’s delivery of ...
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes speaks with legislators prior to Gov. Spencer Cox’s delivery of the 2022 State of the State address at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A group called the 65 Project says Utah’s Attorney General, Sean Reyes, is among hundreds of lawyers it’s looking into for allegedly helping to peddle post-2020 election lawsuits that had no merit.

“We’re going to look not only in Sean Reyes’ involvement in the Texas litigation, but also his involvement in using himself and other members of his government staff to go to other states like Nevada and conduct what they consider to be audits, or to engage in false and bogus efforts to undermine the election in other states,” said Michael Teter, the 65 Project’s managing director. 

Teter actually worked for Reyes’ office for a time and is also a former University of Utah professor.

More Utah ties

Former Utah Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham has also signed on to the group’s board, who according to its website is trying to hold accountable “Big Lie Lawyers who bring fraudulent and malicious lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results and deter them from doing so in the future.”

“They [lawyers] can’t use fantasies and misstatements and downright lies and take them to court,” Durham said. “They have an ethical obligation to have a reasonable belief in the legitimacy of these claims.”

What we know about the amicus brief Sean Reyes signed

Reyes signed on to the Texas suit — which sought to throw out the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia — in the month after the 2020 election. In December of that year, the Supreme Court dismissed the suit saying it doesn’t have a judicial interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections. 

At the time, Reyes said he signed on “because all Americans need clarity and confidence in our national elections.”

His decision drew criticism from then-Gov. Gary Herbert and then Gov.-Elect Spencer Cox. 

Other lawyers

And it’s not just attorneys general the group is looking into.

They have identified 111 lawyers across 26 states who signed onto lawsuits to overturn the 2020 elections. And they’ll mostly be focusing on cases in swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  

“Included in that is the Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit and the way other public officials signed on to that and brought forth claims that were just as much fraudulent and bogus as the other litigation.”

Sean Reyes reaction

In a statement, Reyes office said this: 

“The office joined the Texas case because there were, and still remain, fundamental constitutional questions not answered by the Supreme Court, including who controls the time and place of voting and whether executive or judicial branches can nullify legislative authority and long-standing separation of powers doctrines. Our efforts stopped after the Supreme Court rejected the case.”

As for the Nevada trip, Reyes’ office maintains it “involved no office expenses or resources.”

Democratic ties

The 65 Project’s website says they are a “bipartisan effort to protect democracy from these abuses.”

Axios reports the group has ties to Democratic heavyweights like David Brock, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Paul Rosenzweig, and former senior Clinton administration official.

“The group has ties to democratic heavyweights, and republican heavyweights,” Teter said. “Even today we were reached out to and we’re going to be adding a republican member to our advisory board. This is truly a bipartisan effort.”

Related stories

Today’s Top Stories


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul stands with Lieutenant governor Antonio Delgado during their primary ele...
STEVE PEOPLES AP National Politics Writer

Takeaways from first primaries since Roe v. Wade overturned

The abortion debate consumed the nation this week, but there was no race where it mattered more than Colorado's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, where businessman Joe O'Dea became one of the only abortion-rights-supporting Republicans in the nation to win a statewide primary this year.
9 hours ago
Gov. Spencer Cox announced Utah Court of Appeals Judge Jill M. Pohlman is his nominee to serve on t...
Mark Jones

Gov. Cox announces Utah Supreme Court nominee

Utah Court of Appeals Judge Jill M. Pohlman is Gov. Spencer Cox's Utah Supreme Court nominee as announced Tuesday.
1 day ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Becky Bruce

Different abortion law now in effect in Utah

A different abortion law is now in effect in Utah, and it bans abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are several exceptions to this law.
1 day ago
A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Amie Schaeffer

Utah primary election: Acceptable ID to bring for in-person voting

Utah's Primary Election is today. Voters need to be sure they have the right identification to cast their ballot.
1 day ago
Photo: Utah Department of Transportation...
Mark Jones

UDOT seeks public feedback on future of Bangerter Highway

UDOT is hosting scoping open houses on Tuesday and Wednesday at Granger High School to get feedback on the future of Bangerter Highway between 4100 South and California Avenue.
2 days ago
A voter drops a ballot into a box at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Mo...
Becky Bruce

The Utah primary election is expected to be ‘pretty normal’

Tuesday's primary election in Utah is expected to be about average for a midterm election.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Group looking into Utah AG’s involvement in ‘bogus’ 2020 election lawsuit