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Nessel investigating threats made against members of Wayne County Board of Canvassers

Posted at 10:05 AM, Nov 24, 2020

(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said her department is actively investigating threats made against members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

Related: GOP members of Wayne County Board of Canvassers look to reverse decision again after certifying election results

“We will investigate any credible complaints of threats to government officials, elected or appointed, and will prosecute criminal conduct to the fullest extent of the law," Nessel said. "Serving the people – regardless of party – is an honorable but sometimes difficult and thankless task. And while many of us have been subjected to hateful and often obscene insults, threats of violence and harm will not be tolerated.”

Related: WATCH: Chair of Wayne County Board of Canvassers holds press conference

During the meeting for the State Board of Canvassers Monday, Monica Palmer said she has received threats since the Wayne County Board of Canvassers meeting.

She said that she's received texts with graphic photos, saying her family should be fearful for their lives.

The FBI and local police in the Grosse Pointes are also investigating the threats made against Palmer. Her attorney has preserved the physical evidence that includes a text threatening the life of her daughter that includes a picture of her daughter.

During the Zoom meeting of the Michigan Board of Canvassers, Republican Canvasser Normal Shinkle said he and fellow Republican Aaron Van Langeveld were getting threats against their families if they didn't vote to certify the statewide election results.

Retired FBI agent Andy Bartnowak tells 7 Action News it is one thing to spout off in a heated political season, but when a specific action is taken to make specific threats against public officials that can become criminal. He also says some people can use software to try to disguise who is sending texts and email but investigators can often still determine the sender by going to the internet or cell phone carrier.

Related: Trump reportedly reached out to GOP Wayne County canvassers who are now looking to reverse decision

Nessel’s Criminal Investigations Division initiated its investigation shortly after last week’s Board of Canvassers meeting.

Anyone with a specific complaint related to election fraud, misinformation or threats against public officials can report them by email to the Attorney General’s office.