Michigan state Attorney General Dana Nessel is reopening her team’s criminal investigation into the more than a dozen supporters of Trump who signed on as Michigan’s purported electoral college members backing him, despite Biden winning the state by a clear and repeatedly supported margin.
Nessel revealed her decision during a call with the press by the Democratic Attorneys General Association on Friday, which was the second anniversary of the Capitol attack then-President Trump incited in 2021. Nessel previously referred the matter to a U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan, but she cited both concern about a lack of clarity over next steps from federal prosecutors and newly available info released by the House panel that investigated the Capitol riot. In rather direct terms, she also sounded inclined towards charges. Her investigation would seemingly jump up the list to join the Georgia probe by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in terms of the most serious legal threats the purported electors are facing. Willis named individuals who claimed to be Georgia electors for Trump despite Biden winning the state as targets in her investigation, a status carrying the potential for charges.
“I think that type of activity can’t go without any consequences,” Nessel said, according to The Detroit News. Purported electors for Trump in states Biden won also gathered in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. Some justified the falsified, formal claims of electoral votes transmitted to federal authorities by way of supposedly providing a potential opportunity for Trump to have an out in case litigation later went his way. There remained no credible indication lawsuits over the 2020 election would suddenly start favoring Trump, and besides, some were looking beyond that early on, indicating a more focused ambition.
“What we’ve seen from the January 6 committee is an overwhelming amount of evidence,” Nessel added on Friday. “I thought there was already a substantial amount of evidence in that case. But now, there is just clear evidence to support charges against those… 16 false electors, at least in our state.” These same falsified slates of electors also drove the riot panel in the House to recommend charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States from the Justice Department. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat on the committee, tied the accusation — lodged against Trump and several prominent allies — to the falsified electors.