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16 Trump supporters charged for alleged 2020 election crimes

Former President of the United States Donald Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2022. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
July 19, 2023

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed charges against 16 individuals who allegedly falsely claimed to represent the state as official electors in the 2020 Presidential election.

“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” Nessel stated.

In a recorded statement, Nessel revealed that the accused individuals had convened in the basement of the Republican Party headquarters in Michigan, signing multiple certificates proclaiming themselves as “the duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president of the United States of America for the state of Michigan.”

Nessel claimed the actions of the 16 individuals undermined public faith in the integrity of elections and violated both the spirit and laws governing the democratic process.

The documents, initially intended to be delivered to the state Senate, were later sent to the U.S. Senate and the National Archives with the aim of persuading former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results using the electoral slate, Nessel disclosed.

Each of the accused individuals faces eight felony counts, including forgery.

Among the 16 charged individuals are former state GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock and state Republican National Committeewoman Kathy Berden. Michele Lundgren, also facing charges, claimed that she was unaware of the nature of the documents she signed, believing them to be an attendance sheet for a meeting.

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When approached for comment, Maddok described the charges as “political persecution” and expressed confidence that the judicial system would resolve the situation.

“The democrats know they can’t beat Trump in 24 so they have to use lawfare to try to imprison their opponents,” Maddock told NBC News.

According to NBC News, Nessel had initially referred the false elector case to the Justice Department, but after federal authorities did not press charges, she reopened the investigation.

In contrast, Nevada’s Attorney General, Aaron Ford, declined to prosecute similar electors in his state, while a Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump and his allies has warned such electors that they may face criminal charges.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.