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Michigan AG calls on federal government to investigate bogus GOP voters


LANSING, Michigan – Michigan Attorney General calls on federal prosecutors to initiate a criminal investigation into 16 Republicans who submitted false certificates declaring they were the state’s presidential voters despite Joe Biden winning with 154,000 votes in 2020.

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, revealed Thursday that her office has been evaluating the charges for almost a year, but has decided to go to the US prosecutor in western Michigan.

“Under state law, I clearly think you have criminal record tampering, which is a 14 year offense, and election law tampering, which is a five year offense,” she told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. But the Justice Department, she said, is in the best position to investigate and potentially prosecute.

The spokesperson for the US attorney’s office declined to comment on Friday.

Nessel alleged a “coordinated effort” between Republican parties in several battlefield states, including Michigan, to push so-called alternative voters lists with false documents. She said she wanted federal authorities to assess the possible charges.

“Obviously, this is part of a much bigger plot,” Nessel said.

American Oversight, a watchdog group, obtained certificates submitted by Republicans in seven states last March: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Republicans in New Mexico and Pennsylvania added a caveat saying this had been done in case they would later be recognized as duly elected and qualified voters.

On Jan. 8, 2021, the Federal Registry Office – which coordinates some electoral college functions between states and Congress – notified Michigan Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Counsel for Governor Gretchen Whitmer in an email that he had received unofficial and signed certificates from the GOP. voters who had not been appointed by the Democratic governor. The group includes Republican National Committee woman Kathy Berden and Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

The Michigan GOP did not immediately comment. The Associated Press left messages on Friday requesting comments from Berden and Maddock.

Last month, Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office forwarded the email to a US House committee investigating the Jan.6 Capitol uprising.

When Michigan voters voted 16 for Biden in December 2020 after his 2.8 percentage point victory was certified, a separate group including Republican members of the State House attempted to enter the US Capitol. State with the candidates of the Electoral College of Donald Trump. They were turned away by state police but claimed in the certificates that they met “at the state capitol”.

Invalid certificates were also mailed to the United States Senate, Benson, and Federal Court in West Michigan. Two Republicans did not sign the documents and were replaced.

There are complaints pending in Wisconsin alleging that GOP voters in that swing state committed fraud by submitting false documents. Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes, a result that has withstood recounts, lawsuits and fraud investigations.

Complaints have been filed with the Wisconsin bipartisan electoral commission and the Milwaukee County prosecutor’s office. Neither has publicly announced the action taken in response. Another complaint against Andrew Hitt, a lawyer who was then president of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, was filed with the agency that handles complaints against lawyers.

In Pennsylvania, Trump voters signed the documents in the office of a Republican marketing consultant two blocks from the State Capitol. The state Republican Party then said that Trump’s voters gathered at the campaign’s request and described it as a “conditional vote.”

Bernie Comfort, president of Trump in Pennsylvania, said it was a “procedure” in case the election is called off. She asserted that it was “by no means an effort to usurp or challenge the will of Pennsylvania voters,” even as Trump and his allies lobbied lawmakers and courts at the time to ensure that ‘they do just that.

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Associated Press editors Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa., Contributed.


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