A Republican minority leader in Colorado's legislature was one of the recipients of a leaked trove of voter data, according to a new affidavit.
Joseph Stengel, a former state lawmaker who served as the minority leader in the legislature, was one of several people who received the trove illegally acquired by Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder, who copied data onto hard drives and gave them to lawyers in an attempt to prove the 2020 elections were stolen, the affidavit, submitted by Stengel, revealed.
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Stengel was retained by John Case, who was working as a lawyer for Schroeder on Jan. 25, according to the affidavit filed by the former Republican leader. Case delivered a red metal box to Stengel that day that contained a copy of the election hard drive, the filing said.
Case asked Stengel to take a picture of the box, only to notice that the seal on the box was broken, the affidavit added. The seal broke when Case attempted to store the box "underneath the driver seat" of his car while delivering it to Stengel, Case claimed in his own affidavit. He then took pictures again of the box on April 13 and returned the parcel to Case on May 4 “in the exact condition in which it was delivered," Stengel said in his affidavit.
“At no time since the Red Metal Box has been in my possession has the Red Metal Box been opened to examine the contents,” Stengel wrote.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold sued Schroeder on Feb. 18 to force him to turn over the external hard drives containing the copies.
“Critical information regarding the unauthorized imaging of Elbert County’s voting system hard drives has not been disclosed by Clerk Schroeder, and the copies of the hard drives still are in the hands of unauthorized people,” Griswold said in February.
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Schroeder's effort is one of at least nine attempts to access voter data illegally in the United States, eight of which involved Republicans or Trump supporters attempting to prove a stolen election, according to Reuters. A Colorado judge barred Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on May 10 from administering the 2022 elections after the FBI opened an inquiry into allegations of Peters tampering with election equipment.
Stengel was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1999. He served as the minority leader until 2006, when he resigned from his post amid accusations that he billed taxpayers for excess days of work while the legislature was not in session.