Michigan GOP AG candidate 'under investigation' for election equipment security breach

Michigan GOP AG candidate 'under investigation' for election equipment security breach
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Michigan will be one of the most closely watched states in the 2022 midterms as incumbent Democrats, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and State Attorney General Dana Nessel, battle far-right MAGA Republicans who have promoted the Big Lie and the false, thoroughly debunked claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Attorney Matthew DePerno, Michigan’s GOP nominee for state attorney general, continues to falsely claim that Trump won Michigan, and Nessel, according to the Washington Post, is pushing for a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that DePerno tried to gain unauthorized access to voting equipment.

Washington Post reporters Rosalind S. Helderman, Emma Brown and Tom Hamburger, in an article published on August 7, explain, “In a petition filed Friday with a Michigan agency that coordinates prosecutors and posted online Sunday by Politico, a Nessel representative wrote that her office has a conflict of interest because a preliminary investigation by state police has determined that her opponent — lawyer Matthew DePerno — was ‘one of the prime instigators’ of a conspiracy to convince Michigan clerks to allow unauthorized access to voting machines. She asked that an independent prosecutor be named to review the investigation and determine whether to file criminal charges against DePerno and eight others.”

According to the Post reporters, those eight others “include a Michigan state representative and a county sheriff, as well as other key figures in the election denier movement.”

READ MORE: Meghan McCain melts down after Kari Lake and other GOP extremists win in Arizona elections

“State police have been investigating, since February, efforts by supporters of former President Donald Trump to convince Michigan clerks to give them access to voting software and tabulating machines, so they could examine them to prove fraud took place in 2020,” Helderman, Brown and Hamburger report. “According to Nessel’s petition, DePerno and two others, including a Michigan state representative, ‘orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access’ to equipment in four Michigan communities. According to the petition, the tabulators were taken to hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals in Oakland County, where a group of four men ‘broke into’ the tabulators and performed ‘tests’ on them.”

The Post reporters continue, “The petition says that DePerno was present at a hotel room during some of the testing. DePerno has been a leading election denier in Michigan since shortly after the 2020 election, filing a lawsuit challenging the results in Antrim County because of a quickly corrected error by the county clerk that resulted in the heavily Republican county at first reporting a victory for Joe Biden.”

Elections lawyer Mark Brewer, who formerly chaired the Michigan Democratic Party, described Nessel’s special prosecutor request as “unprecedented and historic,” telling the Post, “I don’t recall any previous candidate for attorney general being under investigation.”

“Election experts have been sounding the alarm for months about a series of efforts around the country by Trump allies to examine or copy tightly guarded voting equipment to search for evidence of fraud in the 2020 election,” Helderman, Brown and Hamburger note. “They fear the outsiders might have compromised the sensitive tabulators or could publish details about how voting machines and software work that would make it easier to commit fraud in the future.”

READ MORE: MAGA hardliners rail against Michigan’s Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial nominee

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