Congressional committee investigates fake election certificates sent by Michigan GOP leaders

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 18:15:42-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — As the January 6 committee investigates the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building, it is interviewing Michigan election leaders and gathering documents sent from Michigan political insiders.

We are now getting a look at emails sent by the National Archives to Michigan’s Secretary of State after the November 2020 election. It shows what happened when a group of GOP electors went rogue.

They didn’t have evidence they won the popular vote in the state. They didn’t have legal authority to represent Michigan in the electoral college.

Still, they sent a document declaring former President Trump the winner to the National Archives.

In the American electoral college system, when you vote for a certain candidate, you are voting for a group of electors from your state. The National Archives dismissed the document submitted by GOP electors since it was not legitimate.

“Nobody in the State of Michigan certified that the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, won Michigan. So it was some sort of fanciful idea, that may well be part of a larger process that the 1-6 committee is starting to review as being part of a larger plan,” explains Chris Thomas, a Fellow at Bipartisan Policy Center and Detroit Election Consultant in 2020.

If you ask Republican and Democratic insiders in Michigan, Thomas has a reputation for being non-partisan and committed to making sure our elections are free and fair. He served for 36 years as Michigan’s Director of Elections under Republicans and Democrats and now is a Fellow at Bipartisan Policy Center. He says it makes sense that the National Archives immediately dismissed the fake document.

So what was or is the plan?

“It is an illegal attempt, in my view, to not just circumvent the will of the voters, but to damage voters' confidence in democracy in our state and around the country,” said Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State (D).

Benson says she has been told there are investigations underway. No one is charged.

WXYZ reached out to the Michigan GOP and numerous electors who signed the document.

Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, National Committeewoman Kathy Berden, and Grassroots Vice Chair Marian Sheridan did not respond to our requests for comment. Shelby Township Clerk Stanley Grot also did not respond.

One person who was designated to be a GOP elector who did not sign it is Terri Lynn Land, a former Secretary of State. Chris Thomas, having worked with her on multiple elections, says he believes she made the decision because of who she is.

“Terri Lynn Land was an excellent Secretary of State. She played fair with both parties. I would never expect her to sign on to something like that,” said Thomas.

If the goal was discrediting the elections, it is important to mention at this point in time allegation after allegation of fraud impacting Michigan Election results has been determined to be unfounded.

“We have proven now that our system was never compromised,” said Anthony Forlini, the Macomb County Clerk and a Republican.

Forlini spoke to WXYZ about the results of an audit he completed. It cost about $16,000. It was done after his office received allegations that the system may have been hacked. He says he is not sure where the allegations came from. He completed the audit to ensure it was not true.

“We have systems in place, checks and balances, and here in Macomb County every one of our clerks do a great job making sure our elections are safe and accurate,” said Forlini.

Former President Donald Trump continues to spread lies about the election.

“Go into Detroit and just ask is it true that there were more votes than voters?” said former President Donald Trump, during an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep this month.

Inskeep responded saying it is not true and the former president argued with him.

The fact is that Detroit had 50.88% turnout. In the City of Detroit, 257,619 ballots were cast. The City of Detroit had 506,305 registered voters.

There is evidence that the sending in of the fake certificates was orchestrated at a national scale.

The January 6th committee received a memo outlining a plan for Trump to take power by getting results from 7 states thrown out because they allegedly had competing electors. It did not work.