Connect with us
Image via AP.

Headlines

President Donald Trump invites Michigan GOP leaders to White House

There has been no evidence of widespread voting fraud in Michigan or any other state.

President Donald Trump summoned Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders to the White House for a meeting Friday amid a longshot GOP push to overturn the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state.

Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Trump invited Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield. They agreed to go, according to a state official aware of the leaders’ plans. The two officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing private conversations.

It was not immediately clear what the meeting would be about. Neither Shirkey nor Chatfield commented.

The Legislature would be called to select electors if Trump succeeds in convincing the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Biden’s 153,000-vote victory in the state.

Both Shirkey and Chatfield have indicated they will not try to overturn Biden’s win.

“Michigan law does not include a provision for the Legislature to directly select electors or to award electors to anyone other than the person who received the most votes,” Shirkey’s spokeswoman said last week.

Also Thursday, state officials said Michigan’s largest county cannot revoke its certification of election results after two Republicans who approved Biden’s local landslide wanted to revert to their initial stance of refusing to bless the vote tally.

The GOP effort to change position represented another complication in what is typically a routine task. Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, said they only voted to certify the results after “hours of sustained pressure” and after getting promises that their concerns about the election would be investigated.

“We deserve better — but more importantly, the American people deserve better — than to be forced to accept an outcome achieved through intimidation, deception and threats of violence,” they said in a statement Wednesday night. “Wayne County voters need to have full confidence in this process.”

State officials said the certification of the Detroit-area vote will stand. Michigan’s chief election officer said a post-election audit will be performed, though not to check “mythical allegations” of fraud.

“There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote. Their job is done, and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify,” said Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for the Michigan secretary of state.

The four-member state board, which is expected to meet Monday, is split with two Democrats and two Republicans — the same makeup as the Wayne County board.

Trump’s campaign says the latest about-face by Palmer and Hartmann is legitimate. It withdrew a federal lawsuit challenging the Detroit-area results, attaching affidavits from the pair.

Palmer and Hartmann initially voted against certification Tuesday, leaving the county Board of Canvassers deadlocked at 2-2 along party lines. Palmer complained that certain Detroit precincts were out of balance, meaning that absentee ballot books did not match the number of ballots cast.

“This is not an indication that any votes were improperly cast or counted,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.

The GOP move drew an immediate rebuke from the public and injected partisan politics into the business of an unsung panel that is supposed to confirm the will of the voters. A person familiar with the matter told the AP that Trump reached out to Palmer and Hartmann on Tuesday evening after the revised vote to express gratitude for their support.

In a statement, the pair reported being the target of threats, which they said they reported to law enforcement.

Trump “was checking to make sure I was safe after seeing/hearing about the threats and doxxing,” Palmer said in a text message to the Detroit Free Press, referring to the practice of publicly disclosing someone’s personal information.

Biden crushed Trump in Wayne County by a more than 2-1 margin on his way to winning Michigan by 153,000 votes, according to unofficial results. His victory reversed Trump’s 2016 gains in the industrial Midwest and put the Democrat on the path to achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House

The county canvassers later voted again and certified the results, 4-0. Then, on Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann signed affidavits saying they believe the vote should not be certified.

Jonathan Kinloch, a Democratic canvasser, said he heard passion — not threats — during the stormy Tuesday night meeting when the audience on Zoom was allowed to speak after the 2-2 tie and before the unanimous vote.

“I heard people basically being very assertive in demonstrating their outrage, but it happens all the time,” Kinloch said. “This was a very important meeting to the city, the county, and it impacted a lot of folks.”

Benson, a Democrat, said a post-election audit will be conducted in Wayne County and any other community with “significant clerical errors.”

“Audits are neither designed to address nor performed in response to false or mythical allegations of ‘irregularities’ that have no basis in fact,” she said.

There has been no evidence of widespread voting fraud in Michigan or any other state. Federal and state officials from both parties have declared the 2020 election safe and secure. But Trump and his allies have spent two weeks raising false claims of fraud and refusing to concede to Biden.

___

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Written By

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ray Blacklidge

    November 19, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Apparently AP doesn’t believe any of the “election mistakes” were fraud despite the fact that they seem to always favor Biden and hurt Trump.

  2. tjb

    November 19, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Ray, why don’t we check out fraud in the states that Trump won. I have very good friends who told me that Tx and FLA had thousands of people with MAGA hats stuffing the ballot boxes with Trump’s votes. I demand an immediate investigation. And don’t tell me this is a baseless demand, my friends are not blind and fake news.

  3. Beth

    November 19, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Ray, the only places being challenged by the Trump campaign are places he lost the election. If there is such “widespread” fraud, why not challenge all states and all election results? Oh, wait, we know why…

  4. Sonja Fitch

    November 19, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Trump is a damn Fing loser! Trump is a paranoid delusional racist sexist liar traitor! Trump is doing what he had Lindsey do and Lindsey failed! Hope these are two men of good and decent stock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.