Michigan’s election results faced another round of legal challenges in courts both big and small just four days before the Electoral College is slated to meet and finalize the 2020 election.
In the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel responded to the state of Texas, which is suing Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia -- three other key states that voted in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. Texas alleged that Michigan broke its own election laws to send absentee ballots to voters during a pandemic, and argued that the court should throw out millions of votes.
In response, AG Nessel wrote that the lawsuit “is an unprecedented one, without factual foundation or valid legal basis,” adding that “it has no likelihood of success.”
“It is difficult to conceive of a greater intrusion upon Michigan’s sovereignty than to have another state ail it before this Court,” she said.
In an interview earlier this week, Nessel told Local 4 News that she thought Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under federal investigation, had other reasons for filing the suit against Michigan.
“I think this is a clear signal that he is sending to President Trump (to request) a presidential pardon, and that’s it. It’s a last-ditch effort,” Nessel said.
Nessel said the claims in the lawsuit are “absurd” and already have been debunked in lower courts. The lawsuit asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case after the Court declined to hear a Pennsylvania case that wanted to reverse that state’s vote certification.
In a separate filing, 15 Republican state lawmakers from Michigan joined the conservative Amistad Project in alleging the state has violated the constitution for decades by allowing the State Board of Canvassers to certify elections, and allowing the governor and secretary of state to sign off on it. The lawmakers argue that the process is so flawed, the U.S. Supreme Court should invalidate the results of the election and allow state legislatures in the four states battleground states to choose their own results of the election before January 5th -- one day before Congress certifies the votes of the Electoral College.
The scheme has been floated and then called for by President Trump, his campaign and his legal team before and after the presidential election in an effort to overturn election results.
Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani called for such an action on the floor of Michigan’s House of Representatives last week. There was speculation that Giuliani’s Michigan testimony was the reason the state’s GOP leadership was invited to the White House by Trump in November.
Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield maintains the president did not ask the lawmakers to intervene or do anything illegal regarding the 2020 election during their meeting in November. Chatfield has repeatedly said Michigan’s electors will reflect the popular vote.
Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes.
At the state level: In Antrim County, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was granted a hearing to defend the state following accusations that an error in the county’s unofficial results on election night was evidence of fraud. Both the Antrim County Clerk and Nessel have concluded, along with the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, that the issue was a human error.
An Antrim County clerk forgot to update the software, which led to unofficial results on election night showing 4,000-6,000 votes for Biden that were intended for Trump. The issue was corrected, did not affect the outcome of the election and was not fraud.
Benson’s hearing came on the heels of news that software company Dominion Voting Systems -- which supplied election software to Antrim County -- has agreed to testify in front of Michigan’s House Oversight Committee next week. The committee is investigating so-called election irregularities alleged by supporters of the president.
As of Dec. 10, Dominion’s testimony had not been included on the Committee’s schedule for next week.
The 15 Republican Michigan legislators who signed onto the brief with the Amistad Project include: Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), Rep. Julie Alexander (R City of Jackson), Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford Twp), Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Paw Paw), Rep. John Reilly (R-Lake Orion Twp), Rep. Gary Eisen (R-St. Clair Twp), Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe), Rep. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian), Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville), Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Twp), Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton), Rep. Brad Paquette (R-Niles), Rep. Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock), Rep. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) and Rep. Rodney Wakeman (R-Frankenmuth). Not on the list are Michigan’s legislative leaders Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.
Four Republican members of Michigan’s congressional delegation also signed onto a brief filed by 106 congressional Republicans in support of the Amistad brief including Representatives Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenar and Tim Walberg. Each member who signed their names on their respective briefs also won their own elections in 2020, which they are now asking to be invalidated.
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