Trump campaign coordinated Michigan false electors plot, report says - TAI News
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Former President Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated a plan to file a false certificate claiming that he won Michigan’s 2020 presidential election, suggesting the former president’s campaign was more involved in the plot than previously known, according to a report released Thursday by the Detroit News.

The outlet obtained emails from former Trump campaign staffers who set up a meeting at Michigan Republican Party headquarters in Lansing on Dec. 14, 2020, at which 16 Michigan Republicans were to sign the false certificate asserting that Trump had won Michigan’s electoral votes. The emails are part of an ongoing investigation by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, into the false electors.

The 16 Republicans signed a certificate falsely stating that they were Michigan’s duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president, and that Trump had won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes. Afterward, they attempted to enter the Michigan Capitol to cast their votes, but were turned away by police. 

At the same time, Michigan’s legitimate electors were meeting in the Capitol to submit the real election results. Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes. The bipartisan Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the results, which were later reaffirmed by numerous audits.

The newly acquired emails between Trump lawyers Kenneth Chesebro and John Eastman and Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn suggest that the plot was intended to reverse the results, keep the total number of votes in the Electoral College in favor of President Joe Biden under 270, or cause delay and confusion surrounding the election results.

“If Biden is simply held to under 270 by virtue of electoral votes not being counted (even though ‘appointed’), or by virtue of a switch to legislature-certified electors, then the election gets thrown to the House. If the Republicans there hold true and vote with their state delegations, Trump should win a bare majority of the states,” Eastman wrote in an email on Jan. 1, 2021.

The emails include newly released details of how Trump’s team orchestrated the mailing of the false certificate to the National Archives and to then-Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the official count of the electoral votes in the House on Jan. 6, 2021. The Detroit News report says that when the document hadn’t been delivered by early January, Trump’s team decided to fly the certificate to Washington, D.C., themselves.

Michigan is one of seven states in which Republicans plotted to replace the duly elected slate of electors for Biden with pro-Trump Republicans.

Kathy Berden, a Michigan member of the Republican National Committee, and Meshawn Maddock, a former Michigan Republican Party co-chair, are among the false electors.

Nessel charged each of the 16 GOP false electors with eight felonies in July. The charges include forgery and uttering and publishing false documents, carrying a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison.

“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” Nessel said in a statement announcing the charges. “My department has prosecuted numerous cases of election law violations throughout my tenure, and it would be malfeasance of the greatest magnitude if my department failed to act here in the face of overwhelming evidence of an organized effort to circumvent the lawfully cast ballots of millions of Michigan voters in a presidential election.”

All 16 Republicans have pleaded not guilty. Michigan GOP leaders testified in court last month that some of the false electors were misled by the Trump campaign to think they were signing to certify electoral votes that were needed on the record in case courts overturned the results of the 2020 election.

Nessel spokesman Danny Wimmer told the Detroit News that the investigation remains active and ongoing and that the attorney general’s office has not ruled out charges against additional defendants.

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The Michigan Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.