Advance Notice: Briefs
Michigan House Democrats seek censure of Rep. Rendon over election tampering allegations
State Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) at a right-wing rally calling for a so-called “audit” of the 2020 election at the Michigan Capitol, Oct. 12, 2021 | Laina G. Stebbins
Michigan House Democrats released a resolution Friday that would censure state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) for coercive abuse of office in service of a crime.
The drafting of the resolution follows a decision earlier this week by Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to seek a special prosecutor to look into whether Rendon and eight others, including GOP Attorney General candidate Matt DePerno, took part in a conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to, and then tamper with, election equipment and data after the 2020 election.
It’s unlikely to be taken up in the GOP-controlled House. A spokesperson for House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell) this week told MLive that Rendon will keep her committee assignments to “let the legal process play out.”
“Representative Rendon abused her office, her position of power, and misrepresented the House of Representatives while badgering local election officials to comply with a phony investigation spurred by Donald Trump’s Big Lie conspiracies,” said House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.). “It’s beyond the pale, it’s criminal, and it is disgracefully below the standard of public service the people of Michigan should expect from their representatives. This offends the very founding ideal we share as Americans — this was an assault on our democracy. She played a crucial role in a coordinated conspiracy to gain illegal access to ballot tabulators and other election equipment to undermine our free and fair elections.”
Nessel seeks special prosecutor for DePerno, 8 others in 2020 election conspiracy investigation
The resolution, which is expected to be formally introduced next week, contends that Rendon “repeatedly asked local officials to give voting tabulators to unauthorized individuals, and those officials repeatedly complied with her requests. In doing so, Representative Rendon aided those unauthorized individuals in obtaining undue possession of a voting machine, in violation of Michigan law.”
It also alleged that in at least one of those conversations, “Rendon told the Roscommon County Clerk that ‘representatives’ were doing an investigation into election fraud and needed her voting machine.”
Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), who introduced a resolution last month calling for 11 of his Republican colleagues, including Rendon, to be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for the crime of seditious conspiracy, said a censure in this instance was appropriate.
“Representative Rendon betrayed her oath of office, abandoned her duty to uphold the constitution, broke Michigan Election Law, and violated the public trust in this desperate and corrupt scheme to keep the former president in power against the will of the people,” said Tate. “Representative Rendon allegedly told at least one county clerk ‘representatives’ were performing an investigation in order to get her hands on this machinery, and that’s a lie against this legislature that can’t be allowed to stand.”
The resolution states Rendon has “engaged in a pattern of misconduct that has undermined the public’s confidence in her, in the House, and in Michigan’s electoral process and democratic institutions.”
In December 2020, Rendon was one of five GOP lawmakers who attempted and failed to enter the state Capitol, along with 16 fake electors, so they could attempt to fraudulently certify Michigan’s electoral votes for former President Donald Trump, who lost to Biden in Michigan by 154,000 votes.
That was also the same month she joined a lawsuit, Texas v. Pennsylvania, seeking to invalidate Michigan’s elector selection process in order to overturn election results in states including Michigan.
“Rep. Rendon must be held accountable, in the Legislature and in the courts, for her continued attacks against the right of Michiganders to choose their own leaders and to a government by the people,” Lasinski said.
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