Michigan’s no-nonsense Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday that she has charged 16 people, including top members of the state’s Republican Party, with felony for pretending to be electors in the 2020 presidential election.
Donald Trump’s allies tried to persuade Republican leaders in seven battleground states to write or sign documents declaring Trump the winner of the 2020 election, even if the votes showed otherwise. Trump’s allies insisted this would help them buy time to prove that there had been voting fraud, despite widespread evidence that that was not the case. But several dozen people in the states—including Michigan—listened to them and ended up submitting false slates of electors who backed Trump.
“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” Nessel said in a statement.
The fake Michigan electors include the state Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock and state Republican National Committeewoman Kathy Berden. The 16 people allegedly met in the state GOP headquarters basement and signed multiple documents claiming they were electors for president and vice president.
“That was a lie. They weren’t the duly elected and qualified electors, and each of the defendants knew it,” Nessel said.
Berden is also a close ally of RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Berden texted another fake elector that Maddock had asked them all to “keep silent” about what they were doing.
Nessel is the first state attorney general to issue charges in the fake elector cases. The charges for the 16 Michigan individuals include forgery, conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to commit election law forgery, and election law forgery. Each charge carries a penalty of five to 14 years in prison.