Republican convicted of election fraud helps lead Trump rally baselessly claiming election fraud

By: - November 15, 2020 8:43 am

Parade of Trump flags at a Trump rally protesting the 2020 election results outside the Michigan State Capitol Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 | Anna Liz Nichols

Another pro-President Trump rally was held at the Michigan Capitol on Saturday as the “Million MAGA March” attracted thousands, including several far-right groups like the Proud Boys, in Washington, D.C.

It was part of a national “Stop the Steal” effort, a massive disinformation campaign about voter fraud in the 2020 election linked to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, CNN reports. Stone, who was convicted of several felonies for trying to stop a U.S. House investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, had his sentence commuted this year by Trump.

Some Republicans have refused to accept that Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect, even though he has exceeded the required 270 electoral votes and has a 5.5 million lead in the popular vote that has been growing. Biden’s win in Michigan was by about 150,000 votes or 3% — which is roughly 14 times what Trump’s 2016 win was in the state.

Nonetheless, the Trump campaign and its allies have filed a number of lawsuits with baseless claims of voter fraud in key states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, most of which have been rejected. They have failed to change the outcome of the race in those states. The Washington Post, New York Times and other outlets have found no evidence of voter fraud.

Trump supporters rally in Lansing, say they’re ‘part of the new resistance’

The GOP-controlled Legislature also has convened a special bicameral committee to look into voter irregularities.

The Lansing rally of a few hundred people Saturday came after a similar gathering last Saturday and small protests during the week.

One of the speakers is blogger and GOP activist Brandon Hall, who says he’s running for Michigan Republican Party chair. That position is currently held by former state Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia), who Trump announced at a pre-election rally in Grand Rapids would “be fired” if he lost the state, which he did. Cox has continued to defend the president and make unfounded claims of voter fraud after the election.

“We’re not going to give over our electoral votes to Joe Biden without a fight,” Hall said, as reported by the Lansing State Journal.

What Hall didn’t mention, and neither did the story, is that he has firsthand experience with election fraud. In 2013, Hall was charged with 10 counts of election law forgery, which is a felony. In December 2016, Hall was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 18 months probation for election fraud, the Grand Haven Tribune, FOX-17 and MLive reported.

Hall has been involved with various efforts this year blasting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to stop the spread of COVID-19. The GOP-majority Michigan Supreme Court in October overturned the 1945 law many orders were based upon.

The state’s COVID-19 cases have soared since October, topping 251,000 cases on Saturday and reaching almost 8,000 deaths.

Whitmer lives in the governor’s mansion in Lansing, which has been a frequent site of heavily armed protests, prompting her to ask for her security to be upped even before an extremist right-wing plot was uncovered last month to kidnap and kill her in a show trial over her COVID-19 orders.

Hall helped organize an April rally in front of Whitmer’s home slamming her coronavirus orders. And he’s tried to organize an impeachment effort against Whitmer that has failed to gain traction, although some Republican lawmakers have signed on.

On Saturday, Hall led the crowd in a “Lock her up” chant about Whitmer, something that broke out repeatedly at Trump rallies in Michigan after the terrorist plot was foiled.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more. She previously served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 90 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 5,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 80 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two kids along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.