Trump voters in Michigan receive federal subpoenas

Lansing Some of the 16 Michigan Republicans who signed affidavits falsely claiming to have voted for Donald Trump’s electoral state in December 2020 are receiving grand jury subpoenas from federal officials.

The development, which was unfolding in Battlefield State Thursday morning, marks the latest escalation of the US Department of Justice’s national investigation into whether Trump allies have broken laws as they lobbied to challenge and nullify the results of the recent presidential election. .

It’s unclear whether Michigan Republicans are being sought as witnesses or targets for the investigation.

Republican Michelle Lundgren of Wayne County, one of 16 Trump voters in Michigan, said a group of Justice Department officials, including someone from the FBI, filed a subpoena for her Thursday. Lundgren said a fellow voter, Amy Facinello, received a subpoena on Wednesday.

Lundgren, 72, said she let an individual pass through her phone and computer. She said investigators were looking for emails she had with other Trump voters.

She said, “They kept asking me questions and asking me questions, and I kept answering them.”

Lundgren described the conversation as “long” and “fun”. She said that the subpoena Lundgren received sought an interview on July 8 with officials, saying they would move her to Washington, D.C.

Asked if any of Trump’s 16 voters in Michigan had told the state’s Republican Party that the FBI had contacted them, Jose Portela, a spokesman for the party, said the party was aware of “the possibility of contacting people.”

Trump and some of his supporters assert that he won Michigan despite the fact that Democrat Joe Biden beat him by 154,000 votes, or 3 percentage points. Biden’s victory was confirmed by a series of court rulings, and more than 200 audits and investigations by the Republican-controlled Senate Oversight Committee.

As part of the campaign to reverse Trump’s loss, his supporters gathered in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 3. 14, 2020, the same day Michigan’s real presidential electors assembled at the state capitol. Republicans signed a document falsely claiming they were voting Michigan for Trump and that they met in the state Capitol.

It is clear that the last statement is incorrect because Republicans were denied access to the building, which was closed for security reasons. Under Michigan law, presidential electors were required to meet in the state Senate chamber at 2 p.m. on December 11. 14, 2020.

Michonne Maddock, a prominent ally of Trump and co-chair of the state’s Republican Party, was among the most prominent Republicans from Michigan who signed the testimony. Maddock did not respond to questions about whether she received a subpoena.

The subpoenas come this week after a high-profile hearing in the US House of Representatives focused on sham voter strategy in seven glamorous states.

The hearing included recorded testimony from Laura Cox, the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, who said Trump voters considered hiding in the state Capitol overnight in order to be in the building on December 3. 14, 2020.

Cox said she considered the plan “crazy” and “inappropriate.”

The New York Times first reported on Wednesday that Michigan attorney Sean Flynn, who worked on Trump’s campaign in the state, has been subpoenaed by federal authorities. Flynn was present in the basement of the state Republican Party headquarters on December 3. 14/14/2020. He presided over the meeting until the officers were elected, according to a source familiar with the event who requested anonymity. Flynn did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Kathy Bearden, a woman on the Michigan Republican National Committee, was eventually elected as chairperson of the Fake Voters Meeting. It was listed as the sender of the forged certificate on a document that was delivered to the archivist in the United States.

Berden did not respond to multiple requests for comment Thursday. Grand Blanc’s Faccinello, among 16 Trump voters, declined to comment when contacted by The News on Thursday.

“I don’t make any comments or speak to any press. I don’t like the news,” Facinello said after being asked if she had received a subpoena.

Republican John Haggard of Charlevoix, who was also a Trump voter, said that as of Thursday morning, he had not received a subpoena.

Haggard has previously said he believes Trump won the Michigan election, which he lost to Biden by 154,000 votes, and that his First Amendment rights protect his ability to sign the fake affidavit.

In January, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel referred an investigation of fake voters to federal prosecutors. On June 1, she told The News she had read stories that federal authorities were investigating voters in multiple states and were “interviewing people in Michigan for it.”

The Democratic attorney general specifically suggested that fraud charges could be considered and said Michigan Republican Party voters appeared to be part of a “coordinated effort.” Similar certifications have been established in other countries.

“Under state law, I think you obviously have public record fraud, which is a 14-year offense, and election law fraud, which is a five-year offense,” Nessel said.

The Michigan Republican Party had earlier criticized Nessel’s comments about fake voters, calling them “political persecution.”

rsnell@detroitnews.com

cmauger@detroitnews.com

Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.

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