Advance Notice: Briefs

Rep. Tate introduces resolution condemning fake GOP electors, calls on states, feds to prosecute  

By: - March 16, 2022 7:05 am

President Donald Trump participates in the final presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A resolution introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives Tuesday condemns the fake 2020 Electoral College certificates submitted by Republicans and calls upon state and federal officials to prosecute the phony electors. 

House Resolution 252, introduced by State Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), aims to “condemn the actions of illegitimate presidential electors” and urge attorneys general in Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin, as well as the Department of Justice “to prosecute these fake electors for their misdeeds to the fullest extent of the law.”

The non-binding resolution is unlikely to be passed by the GOP-controlled House. It comes after Republicans submitted a fraudulent set of electors to Congress and other entities to reelect former President Donald Trump in 2020, claiming he had won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes. The bogus certificates in the seven states were obtained by American Oversight, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog, as previously reported by the Advance. This was part of a larger plan by Trump’s team to keep him in office, despite losing the election.

Trump’s fake electors: Here’s the full list

Michigan’s legitimate set of Democratic electors convened inside the Michigan State Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, to cast their 16 votes for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes. 

The fraudulent certificate included signatures from 16 Michigan Republicans, including Michigan Republican National Committeewoman Kathy Berden, who served as chair and handed the document to officials. The certificate also listed Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock; Amy Facchinello, a Grand Blanc school board member whose QAnon social media posts have been subject to scrutiny; and Stan Grot, the Shelby Township clerk at the heart of a payoff scandal at the Michigan GOP.

Identical fraudulent certificates have surfaced in the six other states listed in Tate’s resolution. In each of the seven certificates, there was no specification that the signatories were a false slate of electors. 

Attorney General Nessel previously said that the fake electors could be charged under state law for forgery of a public record, which is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, or election law forgery, which is also punishable by up to five years in prison. She also noted it could be charged federally under forgery of a public record for the purposes of defrauding the United States or conspiracy to commit an offense to defraud the United States. 

Nessel said in January she had referred the matter to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Michigan.


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Julia Forrest
Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.