Michigan Republicans who circulated fake 'Electoral College' documents are being investigated by the Jan. 6 committee: report

Michigan Republicans who circulated fake 'Electoral College' documents are being investigated by the Jan. 6 committee: report

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has recently done some in-depth, comprehensive reporting on far-right MAGA Republicans who, following the 2020 presidential election, tried to pass off “forgeries” as legitimate Electoral College documents in states that now-President Joe Biden won. The fake documents were no more legitimate than their claims that then-President Donald Trump won those states, one of which was Michigan. And copies of the fake documents from Michigan Republicans, according to Michigan’s MLive, have been given to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

“Sixteen Republicans, including the current co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, signed certificates asserting they were Michigan’s presidential electors and sent the illegitimate documents to the National Archive,” MLive reporter Malachi Barrett explains. “The unofficial documents were part of a failed Republican strategy to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in battleground states, which is under new scrutiny from a U.S. House panel and the Michigan Attorney General’s office.”

The events that followed the 2020 presidential election were unprecedented in United States history. Never before had Republicans, after losing a presidential race, tried to carry out a brazen coup and overthrow democratic election results.

Biden, not Trump, won the popular vote in Michigan, which means that he legitimately won the state’s 16 electoral votes.

READ: Maddow's bombshell: MSNBC host reveals suspicious link between Republicans’ ‘forged’ election documents

“Each political party nominates its own slate of electors,” Barrett notes, “but only electors representing the candidate who wins the popular vote can participate in the Electoral College. President Joe Biden won the election in Michigan by 154,000 votes, and Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes were officially recorded for Biden on December 14, 2021, in accordance with state law.”

Barrett continues, “On the same day, Republican nominees gathered at the Michigan Republican Party headquarters in Lansing to sign the unofficial documents. The documents also falsely claimed Republican nominees signed the certificates in the Michigan capitol. A group of Republican lawmakers tried to escort their nominees into the state capitol to deliver the documents. They were denied entry by the Michigan State Police.”

Trump and his attorneys, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and far-right conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell, falsely claimed that he won Michigan. In fact, bipartisan vote recounts confirmed Biden’s victory in the midwestern state.

According to Barrett, “Documents provided to MLive by the Michigan Department of State show a representative of the National Archive notified Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater and the governor’s chief legal counsel about the ‘unofficial certificates’ on January 8, 2021. The e-mail stated the Republican votes were invalid because they lacked the governor’s signature.”

READ: 'Gutless': Trump makes a thinly veiled attack on DeSantis — and one reporter says she knows why

Barrett adds, “The e-mail and a copy of the unofficial documents were sent to the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol. The Committee was formed in June 2021 to look into election interference and organizing efforts that led to the violent riot.”

The University of Michigan’s Richard Friedman, a professor specializing in constitutional law, told MLive that the Michigan Republicans who circulated those fake “Electoral College” documents are unlikely to face criminal charges. But he does consider their actions “shameful.”

Friedman told MLive, “Nobody looked at this and (said) Republicans must have won Michigan because of what these people said. It just strikes me as very weak. I’m still left uneasy by the fact that this was a bad thing. They should have known full well that they lost, and the essence of democracy is recognizing that you lost.”

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