Court Battles

Michigan AG asks federal prosecutors to investigate false GOP electors

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) on Thursday said a case had been referred to federal prosecutors regarding an inaccurate certificate that had been signed by more than a dozen Republicans saying former President Trump had won the state’s electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election.

“We think this is a matter that is best investigated and potentially prosecuted by the feds. And as such, just today, we referred this matter to the western district, the U.S. attorney’s office, for them to evaluate it,” Nessel told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in an interview, adding that she hoped the Justice Department would become involved and “use the information they already have to better understand exactly what happened that day so that federal charges can be evaluated.”

Nessel said that she believed that certain charges, such as forgery of a public record and election law forgery, were appropriate regarding the case.

“So I will say under state law, I think clearly you have forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offense, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offense,” she told Maddow.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment to The Hill.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Republican Party alleged in a statement that Nessel had withheld the information until it was convenient.

“This is nothing more than political prosecution of convenience led by Dana Nessel,” Gustavo Portela, a spokesperson for the Michigan Republican Party said in a statement. “Dana Nessel is playing political games with people’s lives and livelihoods for the sake of scoring political points ahead of an election. It’s shameful that she’s had this information for a year but waited until her political ally was sworn into federal office before referring it over.”

The case involves 16 Republicans who signed an inaccurate certificate saying that the former president had won the electoral votes in their state, The Detroit News reported. The certificate said that the electors had “convened and organized” at the state Capitol and that they were the state’s “duly elected and qualified electors” — both of which the news outlet said were not true.

The U.S. Senate, the U.S. archivist and several other entities and individuals were given the inaccurate certificate by a Republican national committeewoman from the state, according to a memorandum obtained by the news outlet.

President Biden won the state by less than 3 percentage points during the 2020 presidential election — roughly 154,000 votes, according to The Detroit News. However, some Republicans have challenged multiple battleground states’ votes.

Updated 10:16 p.m.

Tags 2020 election Dana Nessel Donald Trump electors Joe Biden Joe Biden Michigan Rachel Maddow

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