It’s one of the most controversial White House meetings in recent history and there’s concern the president is going to try get Shirkey and Chatfield to overturn Michigan’s election results.
Shirkey was met by protesters at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport before he flew to Washington, D.C. Protesters greeted him as he got off the plane in D.C., where he did not speak with any members of the press.
Shirkey sings in his church and is partial to spirituals. He has done so inside the Senate chambers in the past and he did so Friday morning instead of answering the many questions hurled his way.
Speaker Lee Chatfield confirmed that he was meeting with the president in a tweet just before the meeting Friday, saying he is honored to speak with Trump.
No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it. I won’t apologize for that. In fact, I’m honored to speak with POTUS and proud to meet with him. And I look forward to our conversation. 🇺🇸— Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) November 20, 2020
The meeting frustrated many Democratic politicians, including Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell.
“This is unprecedented, outrageous and wrong,” Dingell said. “It’s an assault on democracy.”
Friday evening update
Following the meeting Friday, Shirkey and Chatfield issued the following statement, saying they’re not aware of any information that would change Biden’s victory in Michigan:
“The President of the United States extended invitations to us on Wednesday evening. We each accepted his invitation as we would accept an invitation from any sitting President if asked to meet at the White House. We were proud to be joined by our colleagues to represent Michigan in our nation’s capital.
“We used our time in the White House to deliver a letter to President Trump making clear our support for additional federal funds to help Michigan in the fight against COVID-19. We have since sent the same correspondence to congressional leaders.
“Months ago, Michigan received funds through the federal CARES Act, and we used that funding to quickly support front line workers, improve testing, ensure adequate PPE, provide additional support to out-of-work Michiganders, and deliver assistance to local businesses that are struggling through no fault of their own. We once again face a time in our state when additional support would go a long way to help those same residents who need our help.
“We highlighted our commitment to appropriating further federal dollars to Michiganders most in need as we continue to deal with the impact of COVID-19. We also emphasized our commitment to fiscal responsibility in the state budget as we move forward.
“The Senate and House Oversight Committees are actively engaged in a thorough review of Michigan’s elections process and we have faith in the committee process to provide greater transparency and accountability to our citizens. We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election.
“Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation. Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.”
The Michigan Secretary of State’s office said in a statement Thursday that there is no legal mechanism for two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers to rescind their votes cast for certification.
“There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote. Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify,” said secretary of state spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer, the AP reports.