Michigan Attorney General Hits Trump's 'Fake Electors' With Fraud Charges

(Todd McInturf/Detroit News via AP, File)

On the heels of yet another possible Donald Trump indictment, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (a Democrat) has decided to charge the “fake electors” who joined together in 2020 to attempt to certify that President Donald J. Trump had won the 2020 election.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday that she has filed charges against 16 people who signed paperwork falsely claiming that President Donald Trump had won the 2020 election as part of a scheme to overturn the results.

U.S. presidents are technically voted in by slates of electors from each state who cast their votes for the candidate selected by their states’ popular vote. In December 2020, as Trump tried to overturn the results of the election, his allies readied alternative slates of electors in several states.

These appear to be the first charges filed against fake electors.

The announcement came the same day Trump said he has been notified that he is the target of an investigation by a Washington-based grand jury examining the Jan. 6 riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

This alternate slate of electors not only signed the certificates but they sent the signatures to the National Archives for preservation. According to The Electoral Count Act of 1887, this maneuver is constitutionally consistent. The Atlantic even wrote a frantic article about the maneuver and warned that Trump needed to be stopped from being able to do this.


Trump’s state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states. Ambiguities in the Constitution and logic bombs in the Electoral Count Act make it possible to extend the dispute all the way to Inauguration Day, which would bring the nation to a precipice. The Twentieth Amendment is crystal clear that the president’s term in office “shall end” at noon on January 20, but two men could show up to be sworn in. One of them would arrive with all the tools and power of the presidency already in hand.

Despite the apocalyptic warnings, or maybe because of them, Joe Biden was inaugurated on January 20, 2021, without incident. The Atlantic writer apparently suffered amnesia about the efforts to influence electors to vacate the 2016 election results which declared Donald J. Trump as the duly elected President of the United States.


Then there were the Democrat congressional representatives who objected to the certification of the 2016 electoral votes. Yet, Trump’s legal challenges to the 2020 Election and the efforts of the Trump alternate electors are somehow seditious and an attempt to overthrow democracy.



In January of 2022, Nessel had referred the case of the “fake electors” to the Department of Justice but was troubled that little focus had been given to it after a year. According to Bridge Michigan, Nessel announced in January 2023, around the second anniversary of the January 6 riots, that she was reopening the investigation.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Friday she is re-opening her investigation into so-called fake electors who aided former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss.

Nessel, a Democrat, had referred the alternative Michigan electors to the U.S. Department of Justice a year ago but told reporters she is “a little worried” that the federal government has not yet filed any charges in the case.

A “parallel investigation” is warranted given new evidence released by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack, Nessel said in a media call commemorating the two-year anniversary of the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol.

The timing and calculation are curious, and the fact that Nessel conclusively decided on multiple fraud charges is also an interesting flex.

The 16 people being charged in Michigan allegedly met in the basement of the state’s Republican Party headquarters and signed multiple certificates claiming they were “the duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president of the United States of America for the state of Michigan,” Nessel said in recorded remarks.

“That was a lie. They weren’t the duly elected and qualified electors, and each of the defendants knew it,” she continued.

Michigan is not the only state where an alternate slate of electors was chosen. ArizonaGeorgia, New MexicoNevadaPennsylvania, and Wisconsin all had an alternate slate of electors who signed certificates in preparation should the legal challenges brought by the Trump campaign in these states be allowed to go forward. While Arizona is looking to charge the alternate electors who signed certificates, Nevada has declined to bring charges because there are no laws on the books that address the particular action. The Nevada legislature is making efforts to pass a bill that would allow for such actions to be prosecuted.




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