16 fake electors charged in Michigan


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Some of the GOP electors in Michigan were local activists who were recruited to serve as “fake electors,” all while inaccurately believing there was still a chance that then-President Donald Trump might secure a second consecutive term. Others were well-connected GOP operatives. The group of 16 fake electors includes current and former state GOP officials, a Republican National Committee member, a sitting mayor, a school board member and Trump supporters who were the plaintiffs in a frivolous lawsuit that tried to overturn the 2020 results.

After the 2020 election wrapped up, some of these individuals publicly said they didn’t realize they were potentially breaking the law by signing the fake certificates. Others are still peddling the lie that the election was stolen. CNN has reached out to the 16 fake electors for comment about the criminal charges.


Michigan AG charges participants in 2020 fake elector plot​

Sixteen fake electors who signed certificates falsely claiming President Donald Trump won Michigan in the 2020 election have been charged with multiple felonies, state Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.

This is the first time any of the fake electors have been charged with a crime related to the scheme, versions of which took place in multiple states.

All 16 individuals were each charged with eight felonies: Two counts of forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit forgery, two counts of election law forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit election law forgery, one count of publishing a counterfeit record and one count of conspiring to publish a counterfeit record.

The group of fake electors from Michigan includes current and former state GOP officials, the Republican National Committee member, a sitting mayor, a school board member and Trump supporters who were the plaintiffs in a frivolous lawsuit that tried to overturn the 2020 results.

“This plan, to reject the will of the voters and undermine democracy, was fraudulent and legally baseless,” Nessel said in a video released Tuesday.

Nessel, a Democrat, initially referred the matter to federal prosecutors at the Justice Department, but she reopened the state probe in January. Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith is also actively investigating the fake electors plot, and some fake electors have testified to his grand jury.


Trump campaign linked directly to fake electors for First time by Michigan Republicans testifying in court Dec 14th​

Donald Trump's presidential campaign on Thursday was linked directly to the so-called "false electors" scheme, which was allegedly part of the former president's effort to subvert the 2020 election.

Trump, who is currently battling criminal cases in connection with his actions surrounding the election that Joe Biden won, has previously been accused of knowing about the overall legal strategies of his team of election lawyers who sought to keep the ex-president in power.

But testimony from local GOPers on Thursday revealed allegations that get into specifics, according to The Detroit News.

"While the Trump campaign has previously been tied to the overall strategy of crafting electoral certificates in seven battleground states, the testimony Thursday described campaign staffers as being involved in recruiting attendees and running the meeting of the false electors in Lansing on Dec. 14, 2020," according to the report. "During that gathering, 16 Republican activists signed a document that was used to claim the then-incumbent Republican president won Michigan's 16 electoral votes."

The report shows that names were named in the court hearing.

"Tony Zammit, the former communications director for the Michigan Republican Party, testified that it was Shawn Flynn, a lawyer for Trump's campaign in Michigan, who gaveled in the meeting in the basement of party headquarters on Dec. 14, 2020," the article states. "Zammit, who was in the building at the time but not present for the entire meeting, said he thought Flynn had taken advantage of the Republicans who participated in signing the document. 'I thought they were going along with what the lawyers were telling them,' he said."

The outlet goes on to explain the importance of Zammit's comments.

"Zammit's remarks could be key because prosecutors must eventually prove the Republicans who signed the false electoral certificate had an 'intent to defraud,' a standard that could be more difficult to reach if lawyers working for Trump were indeed directing the Michigan Republicans to take the actions they did or if the Republican activists didn't understand what they were signing," the article says.
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Trump, Giuliani, & Mark Meadows are all unindicted co-conspirator in Michigan fake elector case, hearing reveals

Former President Donald Trump, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani are unindicted co-conspirators in the Michigan attorney general's case against the state's so-called "fake electors" in the 2020 election, a state investigator revealed in court on Wednesday.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged 16 Republicans last year with forgery and conspiracy to commit election forgery for allegedly attempting to replace Michigan's electoral votes for Joe Biden with electoral votes for Trump at the certification of the vote on Jan. 6, 2021.

During Wednesday's hearing, which was part of preliminary examinations for the so-called fake electors, Howard Shock, a special agent for the attorney general's office, also testified that former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis is also an unindicted co-conspirator.

Shock's revelation was in response to questions from Duane Silverthorn, an attorney for Michele Lundgren, one of the so-called fake electors.

"Finally, former President Donald Trump?" asked Silverthorn.

"Yes," Shock testified.

Nessel dismissed the charges against one of the alleged fake electors in October in exchange for cooperating with the case. The state is still pursuing charges against the other 15 defendants.

All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

"The truth is incriminating": Prosecutors get direct messages from former Trump lawyer Ken Chesebro​

The Michigan prosecutors investigating efforts to subvert the 2020 election recently obtained hundreds of messages from pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro's online accounts, CNN reported Tuesday, including direct messages from an account he had been using anonymously on X. Chesebro played in instrumental role in promoting the "fake electors" scheme in 2020, under which Trump partisans were to pose as their state's legitimate delegation to the Electoral College.

Prosecutors had issued warrants to Google and X requesting the messages. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessell last year charged 16 people in connection with the fake-elector scheme, although Chesebro himself is not one of them.

The documents obtained by Michigan prosecutors show that Chesebro unsuccessfully tried to convince several pro-Trump figures into going to Washington, DC to watch his “fake electors” strategy unfold on January 6, 2021.

Chesebro offered to pay for the individuals he reached out to, including their airfare and lodging at Trump’s DC hotel. Individuals like former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, and his wife, along with the founder of the rightwing website Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft. There are no current records that show they accepted his offers.

The direct messages also exposed Chesebro's relentless outreach to conservative pundits and right-wing figures after Trump lost the 2020 election. He would push them to publicly promote his theories for how to subvert the Electoral College process.

He appeared to provide Hoft unsolicited advice on how to frame Gateway Pundit’s coverage of the January 6 certification proceedings in Congress. “It would help to publicize that if Pence claims the power to resolve disputes about the electoral votes on Jan. 6, he’d simply be doing what Jefferson did,” read Chesebro’s message to Hoft on December 27, 2020 on X.

Chesebro denied the existence of his secret X account when he met with Nessel’s investigators in December. In fact, he used the account to send 160 messages between 2014 and 2021, according to the files that X provided investigators.

Legal observers said the messages show the true gravity of the fake-elector plot.

"The content of Chesebro's DMs shows (once again) he pursued the false electors-Pence scheme loooooong after litigation was exhausted," Law Professor at NYU, Ryan Goodman posted on X. "Recall Chesebro also told prosecutors his plan was contingent on litigation succeeding. A false statement. The truth is incriminating."