Michigan Charges 16 in Fraudulent Voter Scheme to Overturn Trump’s 2020 Loss

2020 Donald J. Michigan’s attorney general on Tuesday announced criminal charges against 16 Republicans for misrepresenting themselves as voters from the state in an effort to overturn Trump’s defeat.

Each of the defendants Accused The president and vice president face eight felony counts, including forgery and conspiracy to defraud, on charges they signed documents falsely certifying that they were “duly elected and qualified voters” of Michigan.

“They were not duly elected and qualified voters, and every one of the defendants knew it,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat. In announcing the charges. “They took these steps in the hope and confidence that the electoral votes of Michigan’s 2020 election will be awarded to the candidate they choose instead of the candidate they actually chose.”

Joseph R. Mr. Biden Jr. won the electoral votes of the swing states. The first accusations against wrongful voters in a broader plan to deliver to Trump, Mr. They add to the rapidly growing legal risk for Trump and those who helped try him. Election results should be changed. Jan. Mr. They arrived the same day Trump said.

Those charged in Michigan include 55-year-old Meshon Maddock, who briefly served as co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Former President Donald J. Ms Maddock, who has close ties to Trump and is married to Matt Maddock, a state representative, accused Ms Nessel of a “personal vendetta”.

“It’s part of a nationally coordinated” effort to stop Mr Trump, he added.

Wright Blake, Myra Rodriguez, 64, an attorney and another voter, said in an interview: “I’m very disappointed in the attorney general’s office. It’s all politics, obviously. If they want to charge my client, Trump and what he sent here to discuss with representatives what to do.” How come they didn’t blame the lawyers?”

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A similar trial in Atlanta drew witnesses from around the country, and Mr. The Michigan investigation so far has focused on residents of the state, leading to legal battles with Trump. Whether that will continue is unknown.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and our department is not ruling out possible charges against additional defendants,” Ms. Nessel said at her hearing on Tuesday.

Republican National Committee member Cathy Berton, 70, and state party grassroots vice chair Marian Sheridan, 69, were among the voters accused. Neither responded to requests for comment.

Mrs. Documents released Tuesday by Nessel’s office outline a plan for a Dec. 14, 2020, meeting at the Republican Party’s state headquarters after many Trump voters turned away from the state Capitol. The actual electors certified by the Board of State Canvassers met at the Capitol according to law. Yet Republicans falsely claimed they were the right voters and met at the Capitol.

Michigan is one of three states, along with Georgia and Arizona, with ongoing investigations into the use of false voters by the Trump team in 2020. Another investigation in Michigan, conducted by a special prosecutor, concerns a far-right network. Sectional activists — including Republican Matthew DePerno, who ran unsuccessfully against Ms. Nessel last year — are suspected of tampering with voting machines in search of evidence of election fraud.

Overall, Mr. Trump’s allies, Mr. They rigged the fake voters in seven swings to claim that Biden had won. To create the illusion of controversy over which slates — the fake Trump or the real Biden — are legitimate, members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence certified the fake Trump slates, tipping the election for Mr. Trump defied the will of the electorate.

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Mrs. Nessel began investigating the matter in early 2021, but referred it to the Justice Department in January 2022. At the time, he said, “There appears to be a concerted effort among Republicans, so there are grounds to bring criminal charges.” In various states, we think this is a matter that can be better investigated and prosecuted by central banks.”

A few months later, she posted on Twitter: “If we don’t hold those involved in the alternative election project accountable, there is nothing to stop them from doing it again because there will be no consequences.”

But by January this year, federal prosecutors had taken no apparent action. So, “we’re reopening our investigation because I don’t know what the federal government is going to do,” Ms. Nessel announced.

In recent weeks, investigators have gathered evidence and interviewed witnesses linked to the state party.

Mrs. Since Nessel resumed his investigation, federal prosecutors have been increasingly active in Michigan and appear to be treading similar ground. Many election officials and legislators – including Secretary of StateJocelyn Benson — Reportedly interviewed by federal prosecutors in recent months.

Both the federal and Michigan investigations into Mr. That’s part of the calculation on the conspiracy theories that Trump and his allies have put forth about the election.

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