Updated Jul 18, 2023, 5:21pm EDT
politicsNorth America

16 fake Trump electors criminally charged in Michigan

REUTERS/Scott Morgan

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Michigan’s attorney general on Tuesday announced that 16 fake electors have been criminally charged for allegedly signing documents that aimed to certify a former President Donald Trump win in the state during the 2020 election.

The defendants allegedly “met covertly” in the basement of Michigan’s Republican Party headquarters and signed fake certificates stating that they were the “duly elected qualified electors for President and Vice President.”

The documents were then given to the National Archives in “a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates elected by the people of Michigan,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The charges come just hours after Trump said that he was the target of a Justice Department criminal probe into efforts to overturn the election. Special Counsel Jack Smith is separately investigating the Michigan electors at the federal level.

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The defendants are current and former state Republican officials, including a Republican National Committee member, a sitting mayor, a school board member, and Trump supporters who were the plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit that tried to overturn the 2020 results.

The House Jan. 6 committee found evidence that Trump was aware of the plan to use the electors and that he had consulted Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, about the situation.

McDaniel, who is from Michigan herself, previously testified to the committee that Trump and his allies told her the electors’ plan was crucial to his re-election, and that the RNC later helped the Trump campaign assemble the slates of GOP electors. She also told the committee the plan was only to be enacted if any of the lawsuits at the time prevailed and the original slate of electors would not be qualified to certify the election.