Criminalizing Politics: Michigan GOP Lawmakers Threatened With Criminal Investigation For Meeting With Trump On Certification
“the Michigan Attorney General and others are suggesting that Republicans who oppose certification or even meet with President Donald Trump on the issue could be criminally investigated or charged”
Last week, some Michigan lawmakers met with Trump to discuss the certification of the election. They are now facing threats of criminal investigation from the attorney general of Michigan.
This comes after members of Trump’s legal team have faced threats for nothing more than representing the President of the United States.
Professor Jonathan Turley writes:
Michigan Legislators Face Calls For Possible Criminal Charges After Meeting With President Trump On Certification
We have been discussing the campaign of The Lincoln Project and others to harass and abuse lawyers who represent the Trump campaign or other parties bringing election challenges. Similar campaigns have targeted election officials who object to counting irregularities. Now, the Michigan Attorney General and others are suggesting that Republicans who oppose certification or even meet with President Donald Trump on the issue could be criminally investigated or charged. Once again, the media is silent on this clearly abusive use of the criminal code target members of the opposing party in their raising objections under state law.
On Friday afternoon, leaders of Michigan’s Republican-controlled state legislature met with Trump in the White House at his invitation. My column today explores the difficulty in any strategy to trigger an electoral college fight. However, the objections from legislators could focus on an host of sworn complaints from voters or irregularities in voting counts…
According to the Washington Post, Dana Nessel “is conferring with election law experts on whether officials may have violated any state laws prohibiting them from engaging in bribery, perjury and conspiracy.” It is same weaponization of the criminal code for political purposes that we have seen in the last four years against Trump. Notably, the focus is the same discredited interpretation used against Trump and notably not adopted by the impeachment-eager House Judiciary Committee: bribery.
Turley noted the media’s shocking silence over this on Twitter:
…Imagine if this was AG Barr threatening Democratic legislators with criminal investigation for challenging Trump votes. The media would be apoplectic. Yet, when used against Republicans, there is a celebration for the use of the criminal code for politically motivated threats.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 21, 2020
When the media does take notice, they push the idea of criminality. Turley points to this Politico piece by Richard Primus:
The scheduled meeting threatens two kinds of danger. At the largest level, it threatens the system of democratic presidential elections: If state officials start claiming the right to overturn elections because of vague claims about “fraud,” our democratic system will be unworkable. But in a more specific and immediate way, it threatens the two Michigan legislators, personally, with the risk of criminal investigation.
What is most disturbing is that, if there was an objection to voting irregularities or fraud, these legislators would be acting under their state constitutional authority. They would be investigated for carrying out their official duties under state law. Many of us can disagree with such objections. (I have stated repeatedly that I do not see the evidence of systemic voting problems to reverse such state results and I have criticized President Trump’s rhetoric). However, when Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Cal.) challenged the certification of Ohio’s electoral votes in 2004, no one suggested criminal investigations.
Democrats have used a ‘by any means necessary’ approach to getting rid of Trump for the last four years. They’re not in a position to threaten anyone over political norms.DONATE
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