Advance Notice: Briefs

Report: McBroom was on Jan. 2 call with Trump, Eastman and Giuliani

By: - October 23, 2021 6:00 pm

Sen. Ed McBroom, Oct. 7, 2021 | Allison R. Donahue

Michigan Senate Oversight Committee Chair Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) was on a call with hundreds of GOP lawmakers days before the Jan. 6 insurrection with President Donald Trump and his legal advisers, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Trump was on the call along lawyers John Eastman — who wrote a memo outlining how Vice President Mike Pence could disregard the 2020 Electoral College vote and install Trump for another term — and Rudy Giuliani, who Michigan House Republicans allowed to lead a long post-election hearing airing myriad baseless right-wing election conspiracy theories.

The call with 300 state legislators was a strategy session on decertifying 2020 presidential election results. Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers approved in November President Joe Biden’s more than 154,000-vote victory over Trump and Michigan’s electors cast their ballots for Biden in December.

“You are the real power,” Trump told the state lawmakers, according to the Washington Examiner. “You’re the ones that are going to make the decision.”

The Post also reported that Giuliani ran a “command center” at the Willard, a Washington, D.C., hotel, plotting with Eastman and other Trump loyalists like Stephen Bannon about how to overturn the 2020 election.

McBroom told the Washington Post of the call he was on: “I didn’t need any convincing about our plenary powers,” adding, “I was listening to hear whether they had any evidence to substantiate claims” of significant voter fraud that could change the results in Michigan. His office did not immediate return a request for comment from the Advance.

McBroom told the Post he did not hear such evidence and didn’t support efforts to delay the vote count. However, a majority of the GOP caucus in the Michigan Senate went on to sign a letter asking members of Congress to examine baseless allegations of election fraud. An earlier version asked to delay the electoral vote count, as the Advance reported on Jan. 6.

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

The signees included state Sens. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), Tom Barrett (R-Potterville), Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge Twp.), Roger Victory (R-Georgetown Twp.), Dale Zorn (R-Ida), Lana Theis (R-Brighton), Kevin Daley (R-Lum), Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway), Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington), Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) and Jim Runestad (R-White Lake). The Advance noted at the time that McBroom, who also held hearings in which Republicans made unproven election fraud claims, did not sign on.

Lawmakers in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania also signed letters to Pence asking to delay certification. The Advance reported the 11 Michigan House members who signed on were: Reps. Julie Alexander (R-Hanover), Ken Borton (R-Gaylord), Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers), Gary Eisen (R-St. Clair Twp.), Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan), Matt Maddock (R-Millford), Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville), John Reilly (R-Oakland), Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Twp.) and Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Twp.).

In June, the Senate Oversight Committee led by McBroom released a 35-page report concluding that there was no widespread evidence of voter fraud and debunking several conspiracy theories.

“Our clear finding is that citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan,” the report reads. “The committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain.”

Trump was incensed by the report and attacked both McBroom and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).

“Michigan state Sens. Mike Shirkey and Ed McBroom are doing everything possible to stop voter audits in order to hide the truth about November 3rd,” Trump said in a statement. “The Senate ‘investigation’ of the election is a cover up and a method of getting out of a forensic audit for the examination of the Presidential contest.”


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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-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, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she 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 80 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 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.