Felony charges have been leveled against 16 Republicans in Michigan, including the leader of the party’s state division, accusing them of serving as “fraudulent electors” for former President Donald Trump during the 2020 election.
On Tuesday, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the 16 individuals will be subjected to eight criminal indictments, encompassing charges like forgery and the conspiracy to carry out election forgery. The penalties for these crimes could range from five to 14 years of incarceration per charge.
The group accused includes prominent members like Kathy Berden, the head of the Michigan chapter of the Republican National Committee, Meshawn Maddock, who was once the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, and Stan Grot, the clerk of Shelby Township.
According to Nessel, the actions of these “fraudulent electors” have damaged public trust in the sanctity of the elections. She further stated that they appear to have clearly contravened the election laws in Michigan.
The individuals in question allegedly gathered at the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14, 2020, signing numerous certificates to declare that they were the legitimate electors for Trump. The said certificates, now claimed to be fraudulent, were subsequently sent to Congress and the National Archives.
Despite the fact that those attempting to undermine the people’s will are facing “accountability and justice,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson expressed concerns about the ongoing, nationally coordinated effort to weaken democracy. In light of the upcoming 2024 presidential election, she stressed that these charges form part of an ongoing initiative to prevent such injustices from recurring, in addition to seeking justice for past wrongs.
False certificates from the Electoral College were also reportedly presented, proclaiming Trump the victor in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.