Michigan AG announces felony charges against 'fake electors' in 2020 election plot

Michigan AG announces felony charges against 'fake electors' in 2020 election plot

ByOlivia Rubin ABCNews logo
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Election lies spawn deadly attack on US Capitol
Ample evidence has emerged over what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Michigan attorney general has announced charges against the state's 16 "fake electors," the office announced in a press release on Tuesday afternoon, for their alleged role in the scheme after the 2020 presidential election.

Attorney General Dana Nessel charged each of the state's electors with felonies including conspiracy to commit forgery, forgery and other charges.

The 16 electors allegedly met "covertly" in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on Dec. 14 and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the duly elected electors.

Those false documents were then "transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in 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."

The investigation remains ongoing, the release says.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at a campaign rally held by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin at Michigan State University, Oct. 16, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

"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 16 electors were identified as Kathy Berden, 70; William Choate, 72; Amy Facchinello, 55; Clifford Frost, 75; Stanley Grot, 71; John Haggard, 82; Mary-Ann Henry, 65; Timothy King, 56; Michele Lundgren, 73; Meshawn Maddock, 55; James Renner, 76; Mayra Rodriguez, 64; Rose Rook, 81; Marian Sheridan, 69; Ken Thompson, 68; and Kent Vanderwood, 69.

"Every serious challenge to the election had been denied, dismissed, or otherwise rejected by the time the false electors convened," Nessel said in a statement. "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."

Nessel had announced she was reopening an investigation into the slate of fake electors on Jan. 6, the second anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Capitol.