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Nessel files felony charges against 16 alleged false electors

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(The Center Square) – Sixteen Michigan residents face felony charges related to what Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel characterizes as “the alleged false electors scheme following the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”

Nessel made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

The 16 defendants are:

· Kathy Berden, 70, of Snover. · William (Hank) Choate, 72, of Cement City. · Amy Facchinello, 55, of Grand Blanc. · Clifford Frost, 75, of Warren. · Stanley Grot, 71, of Shelby Township. · John Haggard, 82, of Charlevoix. · Mary-Ann Henry, 65, of Brighton.· Timothy King, 56, of Ypsilanti. · Michele Lundgren, 73, of Detroit. · Meshawn Maddock, 55, of Milford. · James Renner, 76, of Lansing. · Mayra Rodriguez, 64, of Grosse Pointe Farms.· Rose Rook, 81, of Paw Paw.· Marian Sheridan, 69, of West Bloomfield. · Ken Thompson, 68, of Orleans. · Kent Vanderwood, 69, of Wyoming.

Each of the 16 defendants has been charged with:

· One count of Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, a 14-year felony, · Two counts of Forgery, a 14-year felony, · One count of Conspiracy to Commit Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony, · One count of Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony, · One count of Conspiracy to Commit Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony, and, · Two counts of Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony.

“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” Nessel said in a statement. “My department has prosecuted numerous cases of election law violations throughout my tenure, and it would be malfeasance of the greatest magnitude if my department failed to act here in the face of overwhelming evidence of an organized effort to circumvent the lawfully cast ballots of millions of Michigan voters in a presidential election.”

The charges stem from a Dec. 14, 2020, meeting in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters. According to Nessel, each defendant signed several certificates claiming they were “duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.”

The falsified certificates were sent to the National Archives and U.S. Senate in what Nessel says is “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.”

Nessel asserts that the defendants possessed no legal authority to represent themselves as presidential electors.

“The evidence will demonstrate there was no legal authority for the false electors to purport to act as ‘duly elected presidential electors’ and execute the false electoral documents,” Nessel said. “Every serious challenge to the election had been denied, dismissed, or otherwise rejected by the time the false electors convened. There was no legitimate legal avenue or plausible use of such a document or an alternative slate of electors. There was only the desperate effort of these defendants, who we have charged with deliberately attempting to interfere with and overturn our free and fair election process, and along with it, the will of millions of Michigan voters. That the effort failed and democracy prevailed does not erase the crimes of those who enacted the false electors plot.”

The defendants or their legal representatives have been notified of the charges against them. They will receive notices to appear at an unspecified future date in the 54-A District Court in Ingham County.

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