search
Sections List
American Journal News

16 Michigan Republicans charged for their role in the 2020 fake elector scheme

The fake electors tried to overturn the will of Michigan voters by electing Donald Trump president, even though he lost.

By Emily Singer - July 19, 2023
Share
President Donald Trump arrives to speak during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. Members of the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 will hold their first prime time hearing Thursday, Jan. 9, to share what they have uncovered about former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, culminating in the deadly storming of the Capitol building. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
FILE - President Donald Trump arrives to speak during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Tuesday announced that her office had filed a raft of charges against the 16 Michigan Republicans who acted as fake Electoral College electors in 2020 in an effort to block Joe Biden from becoming president.

Each of the 16 was charged with eight criminal counts of forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

“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 news release. “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.”

These are the first charges brought against those involved in the fake elector scheme, which Republicans across the country organized to overturn Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election in their states and install former President Donald Trump as president. In all, 84 people in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all states Biden won in 2020 — signed documents in which they falsely claimed to be the “duly elected electors.”

Many of the Michigan electors are well-connected in the state; some hold elected office or positions of power in the state party.

Here is a look at the 16 people charged in the Michigan fake elector plot. All but three would have served as legitimate electors had Trump won Michigan.

  • Kathleen Berden: Berden is an ally of Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee; Berden helped McDaniel secure votes to win reelection as RNC chair, according to a report from the investigative outlet ProPublica. McDaniel defended Berden, who had been subpoenaed by the January 6th Select Committee in the House that probed the violent attack at the Capitol.
  • William “Hank” Choate: Choate is a dairy farmer who was invited to the White House in 2017 to discuss agriculture with then-President Trump. 
  • Amy Facchinello: Facchinello is a former vice chair of the Genesee County Republican Party and a current member of the Grand Blanc, Michigan, school board. She has promoted the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory that Trump was going to rid the government of a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophile Democrats.
  • Clifford Frost Jr.: Frost ran a failed campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2020. According to the Detroit Free Press, Frost is a member of the Michigan Republican Party State Committee and on the board of the Macomb County GOP.
  • Stanley Grot: Grot served as the chair of the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee and currently serves as the clerk of Shelby Township. He had announced a bid to be Michigan secretary of state in 2018, but ended his candidacy before the election, the Detroit Free Press reported.
  • John Haggard: Haggard served as an elector for Trump in 2016, when Trump narrowly carried Michigan by roughly 11,000 votes out of more than 4.5 million cast. He was also one of the plaintiffs in a failed lawsuit to overturn Michigan’s 2020 election results. A judge threw out the lawsuit, and a federal judge later sanctioned the lawyers who had argued what he called a frivolous case.
  • Mari-Ann Henry: Henry is the treasurer of the 7th Congressional District Republican Committee.
  • Timothy King: As of November 2020, King was a member of the Washtenaw County Republican Party executive committee, according to the Detroit Press. Along with Haggard, King was one of the plaintiffs in a failed lawsuit to overturn the results of Michigan’s 2020 election.
  • Michele Lundgren: Lundgren ran for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2022, but lost in a landslide, garnering only 8% in the general election. After she was subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, she claimed to ClickOnDetroit.com that she “didn’t even know what an elector was, let alone a fake elector.”
  • Meeshawn Maddock: Maddock is a former co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party. She used misogynistic language in attacking Nessel’s investigation into the fake elector scheme earlier this year. “I never expected that modern political witch hunts would be led by literal witches,” Maddock told Bridge Michigan in January.
  • James Renner: Renner was not one of the Republicans who would have been a legitimate elector had Trump won Michigan. According to testimony from former Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox given to the Jan. 6 Select Committee, some electors had refused to be fake electors because they were “uncomfortable” with the plot.
  • Mayra Rodriguez: Rodriguez, a lawyer, is facing a complaint from Michigan’s Attorney Discipline Board over her role as a fake elector.
  • Rose Rook: Rook is the former chair of the Van Buren County GOP, and as of November 2020 was the president of the Van Buren County Republican Women’s Club, according to the Detroit Free Press.
  • Marian Sheridan: Sheridan serves as the grassroots vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Along with Haggard and King, Sheridan was one of the plaintiffs in the failed lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Sheridan was also a plaintiff in a case that sought to block the state from accepting absentee ballots after 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Kenneth Thompson: Thompson was not on the list of legitimate Republican electors had Trump won Michigan. 
  • Kent Vanderwood: Vanderwood is the mayor of Wyoming, Michigan.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
AJ News
Latest
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Whitmer creates task force aiming to prevent gun violence in Michigan

Whitmer creates task force aiming to prevent gun violence in Michigan

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - June 20, 2024
Emergency care for pregnant women at stake in Supreme Court case, Missouri doctor warns

Emergency care for pregnant women at stake in Supreme Court case, Missouri doctor warns

By Anna Spoerre, Missouri Independent - June 18, 2024
In Grand Rapids, DeVos declines to say whether she’ll endorse Trump

In Grand Rapids, DeVos declines to say whether she’ll endorse Trump

By Kyle Davidson, Michigan Advance - June 18, 2024
Michigan Republican Mike Rogers worked for organization that threatened privacy rights

Michigan Republican Mike Rogers worked for organization that threatened privacy rights

By Jesse Valentine - June 18, 2024
Nevada Republican Sam Brown has ties to extremist who compared abortion to slavery

Nevada Republican Sam Brown has ties to extremist who compared abortion to slavery

By Jesse Valentine - June 18, 2024
U.S. Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks used in Las Vegas mass shooting

U.S. Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks used in Las Vegas mass shooting

By Ariana Figueroa, Pennsylvania Capital Star - June 14, 2024