Actions

Nessel issues cease-and-desist letters to those spreading misinformation during election

CORP-Digital-Default-Image-1280x720-WXYZ.png
Posted at 11:09 AM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 11:09:20-05

(WXYZ) — Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued several cease and desist letters to entities and individuals spreading misinformation during the general election.

Nessel’s office issued five cease and desist letters to various groups on both sides of the political aisle, including Big League Politics, which had posted misleading and deceptive information online that alleged Detroit poll workers were being trained to commit illegal acts while counting ballots.

The video – which had since been flagged as misinformation and removed from YouTube – contained heavily edited audio recording of what was reportedly a poll worker training session taken out of context to convey a fraudulent message.

The Attorney General’s office is continuing investigations into Big League Politics and other entities that were sent cease and desist letters to determine whether laws were broken. Additional information may not be provided until after the investigations are complete.

Additionally, Nessel addressed several lawsuits filed in Michigan concerning the election.

“The cases that have been filed thus far provide no evidence to support their claims,” Nessel said. “Those who continue to push a false narrative claiming our elections were not conducted in a fair, free and transparent manner, or that there is widespread voter fraud, are only trying to erode public confidence in our election system, undermine our democracy and steal the election away from the people of Michigan. The facts simply are not there to support these claims.”

The following is a status update of election-related litigation filed against the state or public officials:

  • Trump for President, Inc & Eric Ostergren v Benson: The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Nov. 4 in the Michigan Court of Claims stating challengers had a right to be provided video surveillance footage of absent voter ballot drop-boxes, and that absent voter counting boards in the state were being held without inspectors from both parties present. Judge Cynthia Stephens denied the motion Nov. 5 and issued her written opinion Nov. 6. The plaintiffs filed an application to appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals but failed to provide the required documentation and evidence for the appeal. That has not yet been fully supplied to the court, and the case remains pending.
  • Trump for President, Inc, et al v Benson, et al: The Trump campaign filed this lawsuit Nov. 11 in the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, though the campaign’s allegations pertain to the eastern part of Michigan. Plaintiffs – which include the Trump campaign, individual voters and Republican challengers – filed the complaint against Benson, Board of State Canvassers, and Wayne County Canvassers, alleging fraud and various irregularities that allegedly occurred at Detroit’s absent voter counting board at the TCF Center. Plaintiffs seek to halt Wayne County’s canvass and certification of the statewide election results by the state board. The Attorney General’s office says it will respond in court.
  • Bally, et al v Whitmer, et al: A group of individuals filed a lawsuit late Nov. 11 against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Board of State Canvassers and the boards of county canvassers for Ingham, Wayne and Washtenaw counties. Plaintiffs allege the same fraudulent activity alleged in Detroit as in the other pending cases, but also allege that the vote counts in Washtenaw and Ingham counties should be thrown out. This would result in over 1 million votes being thrown out, though the AG's office says the claims are baseless. The Attorney General’s office will respond in court.

Misinformation can be reported by emailing the Secretary of State’s office.

Anyone with evidence of specific allegations regarding election fraud is encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s office at 517-335-7659 so that the claim can be investigated and, if found to be credible, prosecuted under law.