The whole time that DC journalists were focused on Fani Willis’s Georgia fake electors investigation and — more recently — Arizona, I was laughing because I knew prosecutors in Michigan were working away quietly.
Today, Attorney General Dana Nessel charged Trump’s 16 fake electors with 8 felonies apiece.
They include very senior Republicans, including former GOP Chair, Meshawn Maddock, and close Ronna McDaniel associate Kathy Berden.
As I noted in March, one thing horse race considerations always forgot is that very senior Republicans in at least three swing states risked charges themselves. They risked charges — and Trump attorney Kenneth Chesbro knew they did, because he wrote that down in a December memo.
Several States also had rules requiring electors to cast their votes inthe State capitol building, or rules governing the process for approving substitutes if any original proposed electors from the November ballot wereunavailable. As a result, Chesebro’s December 9, 2020, memo advised the Trump Campaign to abide by such rules, when possible, but also recognizedthat these slates could be “slightly problematic in Michigan,” “somewhat dicey in Georgia and Pennsylvania,” and “very problematic in Nevada.”18
In the case of Michigan’s electors, Michigan law requires electors sign their paperwork in the Capitol. Instead, Trump’s fake electors did that in the basement of their own party headquarters.
These defendants are alleged to have met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14th, and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the “duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.” These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan.
As I said in March, no one can predict how the party will respond if Trump’s recklessness starts getting other senior Republicans charged.
We’re about to find out.
Update: Here’s the affidavit behind the charges.