Michigan GOP co-chair says Trump campaign directed fake electors, per CNN audio

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Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock said that the Trump presidential campaign directed Republicans in Michigan to seat fake GOP Electoral College delegates, according to audio obtained by CNN.

"We fought to seat the electors. The Trump campaign asked us to do that. I'm under a lot of scrutiny for that today," Maddock is heard saying in the audio reportedly recorded at a conservative gathering last week, according to CNN. In the audio, Maddock does not say whether she personally communicated with officials from the Trump campaign.

Maddock did not immediately provide a comment to the Free Press. The Michigan Republican Party also did not immediately respond to emails.

Michigan GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock claps as members of the Kalamazoo County Republicans meet at Traveler's Cafe and Pub in Portage during a luncheon on June 10, 2021. The keynote speaker of the event was Maddock.
Michigan GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock claps as members of the Kalamazoo County Republicans meet at Traveler's Cafe and Pub in Portage during a luncheon on June 10, 2021. The keynote speaker of the event was Maddock.

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The plan was part of a quixotic effort to overturn the election in Michigan to hand the state to Trump. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team investigated the acts for possible election fraud charges, recently referring the matter to federal prosecutors.

On the day in 2020 that Michigan's presidential electors met to award the state's 16 Electoral College votes to Joe Biden — who won the state by more than 154,000 votes — Republicans, including Maddock tried to enter the state Capitol to convene a false slate of GOP electors. Maddock's husband, state Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, also was present.

Law enforcement blocked the group from entering. But that did not stop the overall effort. Meshawn Maddock and 15 other Republicans signed a document falsely claiming Trump's victory in the state.

That document was sent to the the office of Vice President Mike Pence, the Michigan Secretary of State, the National Archivist and the chief judge of the western district of Michigan, Nessel said earlier this week.

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The document indicates that all but two Republicans nominated to cast Michigan’s Electoral College votes had Trump won the state, signed their names. Terri Lynn Land and Gerald Wall — two Republican nominees — did not sign. Instead the document includes the signatures of James Renner and Ken Thompson.

The archivist rejected the document, notifying Nessel and others in the process. The documents also are part of the U.S. House's broad January 6 commission inquiry.

Nessel's office said her office has been investigating the signatories' actions and that she "absolutely" had enough evidence to bring state charges, but referred the matter to federal prosecutors because she said the effort in Michigan appears to have been part of a multistate conspiracy to overturn the election.

"...Our hope is that the federal authorities and the Department of Justice and United States Attorney General Merrick Garland will take this in coordination with all the other information they’ve received and make an evaluation as to what charges these individuals might (face)," Nessel said.

Recently, the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol broadly cited efforts by Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani to influence legislators in Michigan and elsewhere. The committee references his attempts in Michigan and other states; he appeared in Lansing in 2020 during a lengthy hearing where he and others presented a litany of false statements about the election.

In the Maddock audio recording, she references her husband and says he "fought for a team of people to come and testify in front of the committee." She doesn't reference which committee, but is likely referring to the hearing with Giuliani and others.

The Maddocks' efforts to meddle in the election didn't end in Michigan.

Rep. Maddock was among the 15 Republican state lawmakers in the House who sought to join the U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit to overturn the election in Michigan and other battleground states. And Meshawn Maddock helped organize buses from the state to head to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election.

A video from the Right Side Broadcasting network shows the Maddocks speaking at a rally in the nation’s capital the day before the deadly insurrection. "We never stop fighting," Meshawn Maddock said. She did not expressly advocate entering the Capitol by force.

Clara Hendrickson fact-checks Michigan issues and politics as a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. Make a tax-deductible contribution to support her work at bit.ly/freepRFA. Contact her at chendrickson@freepress.com or 313-296-5743. Follow her on Twitter @clarajanehen.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan GOP co-chair: Trump camp directed fake electors, per CNN audio