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Michigan AG Charges 16 ‘Fake Electors’ for Trump for Allegedly Trying to Overturn 2020 Election

Michigan AG Charges 16 ‘Fake Electors’ for Trump for Allegedly Trying to Overturn 2020 Election

Each defendant faces eight felony charges.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed felony charges against 16 Michigan Republicans who allegedly tried to overturn the state’s 2020 election in favor of President Donald Trump.

Each defendant faces the following charges:

  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, a 14-year felony,
  • Two counts of Forgery, a 14-year felony,
  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,
  • One count of Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,
  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony, and,
  • Two counts of Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony.

Nessel claimed the 16 Republicans tried to “interfere in the 2020 election to reject the will of the voters.”

Nessel’s office detailed the Republicans’ alleged plot:

These defendants are alleged to have met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14th, and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the “duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.” These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan.

Former Michigan GOP Chair Laura Cox told the January 6th committee that Trump supporters came to her with a plan:

Former Michigan GOP Chair Laura Cox, meanwhile, detailed to the congressional committee one plan Trump allies discussed with her proposing an attempt to seat fake electors by entering the state Capitol the night before the Electoral College vote. Michigan election law specifically requires the state’s presidential electors convene in the Michigan Senate chamber at 2 p.m. EST the day they are supposed to cast the state’s votes for president and vice president.

Cox called the idea “insane and inappropriate” in a video of testimony she gave the committee after she was subpoenaed. She said the plan for Republicans to hide overnight in the state Capitol never occurred.

But some Republican lawmakers still joined members of the group of fake Trump electors in an attempt to enter the Michigan State Capitol in December 2020. They were denied access.

But according to Nessel’s office, they allegedly met in the basement of the Michigan GOP headquarters on Dec. 14 and signed fake certificates falsely claiming the Republican slate was the legitimate set of delegates to the Electoral College. Those documents were sent to the U.S. Senate and National Archives.

However, an affidavit claimed that Cox and the Republican National Committee organized the meeting of the Republican electors.

Here are the 16 defendants:

  • Meshawn Maddock: Republicans chose Maddock to serve as Michigan GOP co-chair after the 2020 election.
  • Kathy Berden: In 2015, the state committee of the Michigan GOP elected Berden as the party’s national committeewoman. The fake certificate of electors lists Berden as “Chairperson, Electoral College of Michigan.”
  • Mayra Rodriguez: Rodriguez is a Michigan lawyer facing a complaint from the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission filed with the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board recommending disciplinary action against her. The fake certificate of electors lists Rodriguez as “Secretary.”
  • Timothy King: King was the lead plaintiff in a legal effort led by Trump ally Sidney Powell to overturn the 2020 election in Michigan.
  • John Haggard: Haggard served as a Republican elector in 2016. He was one of the plaintiffs who brought a lawsuit in the wake of the 2020 election to try to name Trump the winner.
  • Stanley Grot: Grot serves as Macomb County’s Shelby Township clerk.
  • William “Hank” Choate: Choate previously served as the chair of the Jackson County Republican Party and chair of the Michigan GOP’s 7th District.
  • Amy Facchinello: Facchinello was elected to serve as a board member of Grand Blanc Community Schools in 2020.
  • Clifford Frost: Frost previously ran for office and served on the Michigan GOP state committee.
  • Mari-Ann Henry: A previous webpage for the Greater Oakland Republican Club showed Henry was involved with the group.
  • Michele Lundgren: Lundgren ran as a Republican in 2022 seeking to represent part of Detroit in the Michigan House of Representatives. She lost her election to incumbent state Rep. Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck.
  • James Renner: Renner was one of two names that appear on the fake certificate of electors who was not originally nominated by the state’s Republican Party to serve as an elector in the event of a Trump victory.
  • Ken Thompson: Thompson is the second individual whose name appears on the fake certificate of electors who was not originally nominated by the state’s Republican Party to serve as an elector in the event of a Trump victory.
  • Rose Rook: Rook has held various local leadership positions with the Republican Party.
  • Marian Sheridan: Sheridan currently serves as the Michigan GOP’s grassroots vice-chair. She was also a plaintiff in the federal election lawsuit to try to award Michigan’s Electoral College votes to Trump.
  • Kent Vanderwood: Vanderwood currently serves as mayor of the city of Wyoming.


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chrisboltssr | July 19, 2023 at 11:37 am

War by any other means.

A police state within a police state.

2smartforlibs | July 19, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Yet the left actually rigging that election is just fine.

My impression was that the plan was alternate slates of electors to be decided by Congress, nothing deceptive. No confusion resulted, it just didn’t go their way.

Michigan, where a 200,000 vote drop after counting had ceased was explained as a computer error…..but the votes were still counted by the dubious explanation they were received earlier but not included in the tally….as if the fact that 200,000 Biden votes were mysteriously segregated into a non-tallied file is any less incredulous.

    MarkJ in reply to puhiawa. | July 19, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    The only complimentary thing I can say about Nessel is that she’d look right at home in a Gestapo uniform.

Massinsanity | July 19, 2023 at 12:30 pm

They should have simply declared themselves “Hamilton” electors and they would have been heroes. Or did that only apply to 2016?

    GravityOpera in reply to Massinsanity. | July 20, 2023 at 1:19 am

    “Faithless” electors and fake electors are entirely different. The Dems, unless I missed something major, did not put forth fake electors in 2016.

A banana republic, if you can keep it

It seems to me that they’re making criminal doing what the Constitution specifies for settling election disputes. It’s a crazy system but it’s in the Constitution.

The courts all declined to get involved so that method is all that’s left.

If you want to get rid of it, amend the Constitution.

henrybowman | July 19, 2023 at 1:33 pm

Michigan re-elected Governor Ilsa. This is what Michigan wants.

The rule of law is no longer in effect.

Charging their opponents to cover their Coup d’etat

Apparently the average age of those “accused” is 72..

Anyone aware of some actual legal analysis of the defendant’s liability/potential defenses? I would appreciate a link.

Also, are readers aware of the relevant precedent? In 1960, the Hawaiian popular vote showed Nixon narrowly winning, and the state certified his slate of electors. But the JFK slate completed, and turned in certifications as well.

In fact, a Hawaii court subsequently found that additional JFK ballots should be counted (imagine that). As a result, when the electors met to elect the President, the then VP accepted the JFK slate of electors. Of course, the VP was Richard Nixon, and the 3 elector switch didn’t change the outcome of the election.

Of course, the JFK slate didn’t know how things would turn out at the time they submitted their certifications.

The Michigan electors allegedly modelled their conduct of that of the JFK slate of electors from 1960.

Given that precedent, there is, IMHO, no way the Michigan electors should have been prosecuted.

    GravityOpera in reply to Wisewerds. | July 20, 2023 at 3:19 am

    If I read the Wikipedia articles about that correctly then there was an active recount underway in Hawaii, both sets of electors met in the governor’s mansion at the same time, and both certificates of ascertainment were sent by the state whereas in Michigan there was no recount, the “alternate” electors met on their own, and sent the “alternate” certificate themselves. Those are significant differences IMHO. Also as noted in the LI article, quoted from the Detroit Free Press, MI law also specifies the time and place of the electoral vote and the “alternate” election took place elsewhere (unless they did an incredible job of avoiding press and security cameras.)

This is why Michigan happened, when it happened…

Charlie Kirk tweet makes sense: “In 2016 a bunch of B-list Hollywood has beens made a video urging 37 Republican electors to defect and defy the will of the voters who elected Donald Trump. It didn’t happen, but you know what else didn’t happen? No one suggested throwing these celebs in the gulag either. The alternate electors witch hunt is part of a multi-pronged attack so that Jack Smith can charge Trump with “rebellion” and disqualify him from the 2024 ballot. Michigan’s AG is just the first to act.”

    Danny in reply to gonzotx. | July 19, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    That is not the what is being discussed in the indictment.

    Those celebrities urged electors to be faithless electors.

    What these fake electors are being charged with is trying to impersonate the real electors in order to fraudulently cast Michigan’s electoral votes for Trump.

    As far as I know this is just speech not a crime, it is stupid speech that deliberately barged into the grayest area of speech you could find without being a speaker at an event that became a riot but ultimately just speech.

    However electors are electors and they are permitted to cast their votes as they please (note Trump got more electoral votes than he earned in 2016 because of faithless electors).

    Urging someone to do something that is not illegal is not the same as what is being charged.

    I don’t think the charges are justified by the action but don’t delude yourself. The actions described by the charge in no way are equivalent to those celebrities urging elected officials to do something legal.

    What makes this wrong is what the fake electors did was purely speech even if in a dubious area.

A disgrace political prosecution but if I know my judges, I suspect the lazy slobs will treat this like a normal exercise of the prosecutorial power and show great deference and respect to the political clown hacks abusing the law when they should throw out the charges and recommend the buffoon prosecutors be disbarred.

TheOldZombie | July 19, 2023 at 10:29 pm

Worst part about this is the way things are these people will be found guilty and there is no way to help them. Michigan is firmly in Democrat hands.

This was ultimately speech, even though lying but it was in a legally grey area.

The voting citizens of Michigan chose Joe Biden, trying to fraudulently get the electoral votes to go to Trump was playing with fire.

Even Hillary Clinton didn’t toy with the idea of trying to fraudulently seat Democrat electors she instead encouraged electors to be faithless electors (which had no impact but avoided a legally gray area that charges could have been charged over).

Of note I can not express enough how much sympathy I have for Bullhorn lady.

She had been listening to lies such as the ones posters in this thread have stated like 200k votes showing up after all the votes were counted (a lie) and other things for weeks, and at the last when she heard the litany of lies again exploded in rage.

She did something stupid because Trump and others took her for the ultimate rage ride, and because of the media spotlight she got charged with every technical violation of law possible, and now faces an extremely substantial prison sentence, her family will be without a mother and for what?

So deluded jerks could pretend Biden lost? So Trump wouldn’t need to take personal responsibility for a lackluster campaign that lost working class support we had in 2016?

We really should be discussing the ordinary people a lot more.

    GravityOpera in reply to Danny. | July 20, 2023 at 3:30 am

    How do you conclude that signing and transmitting a fake Certificate of Ascertainment is merely speech?

      Danny in reply to GravityOpera. | July 20, 2023 at 4:02 pm

      1. The use of the term “alternate” when there is no such thing in law or practice. There is one example where the wrong electors initially got named due to the election being called too early. However when all of the votes got counted a couple of phone calls made it clear and the state in question replaced those electors. “Dueling electors” is a fantasy like a “co-president” it may have happened in other electoral systems but in ours the title of dueling elector is as valid as “pro-consul” or “praetor” (and unlike dueling electors who both are selected by the state because Romans had those titles they at least existed at some point).

      2. They did want a miracle to happen that would have them seated (fraudulently) as electors. However criminal cases require criminal actions in pursuit of intentions. Just claiming to have a title you don’t have isn’t a crime. They did not do anything that would have any kind of reasonable person think the state of Michigan selected them as electors.

      3. Prompt action by the state of Michigan meant that whatever was stated by Trump, and TheGatewayPundit nobody had any doubt about who was selected as electors. Just claiming to have a title you don’t have alone (and remember they claimed a title that simply does not exist in our political system hoping it would result in them getting the real title by miracle) is only grounds for arrest if other actions you do in pursuit of defrauding people into thinking you have that title results in something. For example if I told you I am mayor of (fill in name of a city/town that doesn’t exist) not a crime. If I told you I was the mayor of that town and needed your cash contribution because of a (fill in your nightmare candidate) beating me in the polls, and I manufactured fake polls and fake official documents showing I was mayor……. Maybe the state has things I don’t have but my opinion is they don’t and that all we have is lying about having a position that doesn’t actually exist in law in hopes it would get them the one that does. As far as I know they never did anything to benefit or change anything as a result of their lies.

      4. Do you have the fake certificate of ascertainment? If they forged official documents that isn’t speech but if all they did was claim “as an alternate elector I voted for”-You get back to point 1 which is that our system only has electors. the alternate elector is as foreign and alien to American law as the Peoples Tribune, or the Grand Inquisitor. It doesn’t exist in our constitution.

      Deliberate lies are covered by freedom of speech unless there is a big piece I am missing.

      I do agree they entered a grey area, and that trying to trick people into believing a lie was playing with fire.

      Clearly they understood that which is why they used the term “alternate”.

        GravityOpera in reply to Danny. | July 20, 2023 at 10:00 pm

        The tweet at the beginning of the article has a scan of the fake certificate. The word “alternate” does not appear anywhere in the document. The document does claim that the signatories are duly elected and qualified electors.×900

          Unfortunately it looks like you are right, they did claim the real title in that document and manufactured a phony official document.

          I just remembered hearing “dueling electors” and “alternate electors” a lot so assumed (especially because you can’t impersonate a federal official however minor in order to assume his functions) they had the common sense to use the made up titles.