Michigan Investigating Individuals Making Election Fraud Claims to Gain Money, Publicity

Michigan is investigating individuals accused of making fraudulent claims about the 2020 presidential election to gain money and publicity, the Associated Press reported.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, is heading the investigation after GOP state Sen. Ed McBroom and the Senate Oversight Committee he leads raised concerns over erroneous claims being made by some about northern Antrim County's election results.

A report from the committee on the state's election results released June 23 concluded that "the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan" despite former President Donald Trump claiming widespread voter fraud.

"Those promoting Antrim County as the prime evidence of a nationwide conspiracy to steal the election place all other statements and actions they make in a position of zero credibility," the report said without naming who should be investigated.

However, the report did mention lawyer Matthew DePerno whose election fraud lawsuit against the county was dismissed by a judge earlier this year.

The report also mentioned former state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, who called the report "shoddy." Colbeck is seeking donations on his website to help cover his finances for legal protection after Dominion Voting Systems threatened legal action against him for claiming fraud in the election results.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Attorney General of Michigan Dana Nessel
Attorney General of Michigan Dana Nessel is heading an investigation of individuals claiming fraud in the 2020 presidential election results for publicity or money. In this photo, Nessel, center, is escorted to the entrance of the Michigan State Capitol on December 14, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Michigan electors will meet this afternoon to certify the electoral college vote. Elaine Cromie/Getty Images

Election night results in rural Antrim County, which has roughly 23,000 residents, initially erroneously showed a local victory for Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump. But it was attributed to human errors, not any problems with machines, and corrected. A hand recount validated the results as accurate.

Colbeck has called for the panel's GOP senators to be censured. DePerno has accused the committee of an election "cover-up."

On his website, Colbeck asked for donations after Dominion Voting Systems threatened legal action over his false claims that the election was stolen by manipulating the company's machines. Dominion has accused Colbeck of "knowingly sowing discord in our democracy" and soliciting "exorbitant amounts of money" — over $1 million — to his business.

The state Senate committee also urged the attorney general or Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to investigate a Wayne County Republican canvasser's statement that election officials used poorly constructed drop boxes for absentee ballots despite the canvassing board having disallowed them. The report called it a "serious breach."

The attorney general's office did not elaborate on the probe's specifics, saying it is an open investigation.

 Michigan Office of the Attorney General
In this Jan. 14, 2021 file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Attorney General, Dana Nessel, right, speaks in Lansing. Nessel has opened an investigation after a Republican-led state legislative panel said people are making baseless allegations about 2020 presidential election results in a northern Michigan county to raise money or publicity for their own ends. Uncredited/Michigan Office of the Attorney General via AP