President Donald Trump rally in Battle Creek, Dec. 18, 2019 | Andrew Roth
Efforts to deny the legitimacy of the votes of the people of Michigan were noted in a new indictment against former President Donald Trump’s “criminal organization” that a grand jury in Georgia said Monday used lies and intimidation to attempt to usurp the 2020 presidential election.
This indictment comes as the result of a large investigation into Trump and his allies’ actions in Fulton County, Ga., to cast seeds of doubt on the integrity of the last presidential election where Trump failed to be reelected to office. The indictment, which marks the fourth time Trump has been indicted this year, not only outlines actions taken by Trump and his allies in Georgia, but also actions in other states, including Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s infamous visit to a Michigan House hearing in December 2020.
President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 election by more than 7 million votes nationally, more than 11,000 votes in Georgia and more than 154,000 votes in Michigan.
The Fulton County grand jury’s 98-page indictment cites charges of conspiracy, racketeering, forgery and perjury, among other charges, totaling 41 charges against 19 individuals. Those charged include Trump and Giuliani, as well as Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and ex-Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer.
The investigation that led to the indictment stems from a recording of a phone call was released to the public at the start of 2021 where Trump asked Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” after Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to lose Georgia in almost 30 years.
The indictment cites Michigan several times, saying, “Trump and the other Defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.”
Then-Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and then-Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), along with other Michigan GOP lawmakers, met with Trump on Nov. 20, 2020, in the Oval Office. The indictment said the “meeting was an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy” that the 2020 election was wrought with fraud.
Shortly after, on Dec. 2, Giuliani and another indicted supporter of Trump, attorney Jenna Ellis, were invited to the Michigan House of Representatives Oversight Committee, which was chaired at the time by Rep. Matt Hall (R-Richland Twp.). Hall is now the House minority leader.
Both Ellis and Giuliani spread misinformation about the 2020 election Trump lost. Giuliani was allowed to question those testifying, in a break with typical hearings.
The day after Giuliani’s visit to Michigan, the Georgia grand jury says he committed the felony offense of false statements when knowingly and unlawfully told the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that at least 96,600 mail-in ballots were fraudulent in the state.
He added that the Dominion Voting Systems equipment used in the presidential election in Antrim County, Mich., recorded 6,000 votes for Biden when the votes were actually for Trump, which is misleading as the error was quickly rectified before any official count.
During the Michigan hearing, Ellis implored lawmakers to take the reins on certifying the election and refuse to certify election results. She and Giuliani brought a host of speakers who claimed mass fraud in the 2020 election and rejected state electors who didn’t support a Trump victory.
As Biden won Michigan, a winner-take-all state, he won all 16 electoral votes. On Dec. 14, 2020, the Democratic slate of electors met at the Michigan Capitol to cast their votes for Biden.
However, a group of 16 Republicans met, as well. Fake documents documents were submitted to the National Archives in an attempt to certify Trump as the winner of Michigan in 2020.
The 16 Republicans were charged by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in July with several felonies. The group includes former Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, Michigan GOP National Committeewoman Kathy Berden, Wyoming Mayor Kent Vanderwood and Shelby Township Trustee and Clerk Stanley Grot.
All 16 individuals have been arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
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