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DePerno wants Nessel impeached after requesting special prosecutor to probe alleged election tampering

By: - August 12, 2022 11:14 am

AG nominee Matt DePerno watches the GOP gubernatorial debate at the Mackinac Island Policy Conference, June 2, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins

Matt DePerno, the presumptive GOP attorney general nominee, said Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel “should be impeached” for her office investigating allegations that DePerno tampered with election tabulators. That echoes claims from likely GOP Secretary of State nominee Kristina Karamo earlier this week. 

DePerno, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is one of nine individuals who were named in a petition by Nessel’s office seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into allegations of a conspiracy to illegally obtain and tamper with voting tabulators. They also include state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf.

Dana Nessel | Susan J. Demas

DePerno claimed that Nessel is “corrupt” and is trying to “score political points” in an interview with FOX-2 Thursday night. 

DePerno and Karamo have been part of efforts to spread disproven claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election that Trump lost to President Joe Biden.

The petition alleges that DePerno was present in an Oakland County hotel room early last year during a test of one of the illegally obtained tabulators.

Because he is the presumptive nominee to face Nessel in November, she requested a special prosecutor to investigate to avoid a conflict of interest.

“There was an investigation. The results came up. [Nessel] saw that it was against Matt. So she immediately referred it to another prosecutor. That is the proper channels,” Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said on FOX-2 Thursday night. “What Matt is fundraising off of is that he wants to throw her in jail. He keeps talking about throwing her in jail, the governor [Gretchen Whitmer] in jail, Secretary of State [Jocelyn Benson] in jail. That is a misuse of power, and he’s intending to do that.”

DePerno denied Thursday that he was in the hotel room, but a video on DePerno’s website shows Jeffrey Lenberg, described as a cybersecurity expert, running ballots through a Dominion Voting Systems tabulator on May 3, 2021.

Byrum said DePerno is trying to distract people from key legal questions: Was he in possession of these tabulators and how did he get the tabulators?

“He is not a certified election professional. He is not supposed to be in possession of the tabulators or of any of the election systems,” Byrum said. 

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.