Home News Michigan Charges 16 in False Elector Scheme to Overturn Trump’s 2020 Loss

Michigan Charges 16 in False Elector Scheme to Overturn Trump’s 2020 Loss

Michigan Charges 16 in False Elector Scheme to Overturn Trump’s 2020 Loss

The Michigan attorney general announced felony charges on Tuesday against 16 people in a case involving Trump supporters’ attempt to overturn the state’s 2020 election results by convening a false slate of Electoral College electors.

Each of the 16 defendants has been charged with eight felony counts, including forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery, for allegedly signing documents attesting falsely that they were Michigan’s “duly elected and qualified electors” for president and vice president.

“They weren’t the duly elected and qualified electors, and each of the defendants knew it,” Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said in announcing the charges. “They carried out these actions with the hope and belief that the electoral votes of Michigan’s 2020 election would be awarded to the candidate of their choosing instead of the candidate that Michigan voters actually chose.”

Those charged included Meshawn Maddock, 55, who went on to become the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Ms. Maddock, who has close ties to former President Donald J. Trump and is married to Matt Maddock, a state representative, accused Ms. Nessel of “a personal vendetta.”

“This is part of a national coordinated” effort to stop Mr. Trump, she added.

Also charged were Kathy Berden, 70, a member of the Republican National Committee, and Marian Sheridan, 69, the state party’s grass-roots vice-chair, neither of whom immediately responded to requests for comment.

The Michigan charges were announced on the same day that Mr. Trump said he received another so-called target letter from Jack Smith, the special counsel for the Justice Department who is investigating his efforts to hold onto power after he lost the 2020 election. The letter signals that he is likely to be indicted in a federal case over those efforts, which came to a head on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

Both investigations are part of a reckoning over the conspiracy theories Mr. Trump and his allies have promoted about the election.

Outside of Michigan, supporters of Mr. Trump, then the president, pushed to convene slates of fake electors in six other swing states that Mr. Biden actually won. The plan was to create the illusion of a dispute over which slates — the fake Trump ones or the real Biden ones — were legitimate, and to have members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence certify the fake Trump slates, thus handing the election to Mr. Trump in defiance of the will of voters.

One of those states, Georgia, is the site of a separate criminal investigation involving Mr. Trump himself, who pressured state officials to help him overturn his loss. And another investigation in Michigan, being conducted by a special prosecutor, concerns a network of right-wing activists — including Matthew DePerno, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully against Ms. Nessel last year — who are suspected of breaching voting machines in search of evidence of election fraud.


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