Pro-Trump Groups Forged Election Documents Saying He Won Arizona, Michigan

Groups supporting former President Donald Trump in Arizona and Michigan sent fake documents to the National Archives falsely showing that he had won those states' Electoral College votes.

Forged certificates of ascertainment were sent to the National Archives by pro-Trump groups in each state in December 2020. The document from Arizona bore the state seal and legal action was taken against those responsible.

Certificates of ascertainment identify how a state's electors have cast their votes in the presidential election and the faked documents show Trump and then Vice President Mike Pence winning the slates of electors in both states.

The secretaries of state of Michigan and Arizona sent those fake certificates to the House of Representatives' Select Committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, according to public records obtained by Politico.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs also shared correspondence with the committee they had with the National Archives relating to the forged certificates.

Benson and Hobbs, who are Democrats, met with the committee in November 2021, along with their staff.

The National Archives informed Hobbs' office on December 11, 2020 about the forged certificate, sending it to state officials "for your awareness." The Archives had rejected the fake documents.

The Arizona document was created by a sovereign citizen group led by Lori Osiecki, who identified herself on the certificate as a citizen "of the sovereign citizens caucus of the great state of Arizona."

That document also carried the state seal and Arizona took legal action against the group, with Hobbs' office sending a cease and desist letter and referring the matter to Arizona's attorney general.

"By affixing the state seal to documents containing false and misleading information about the results of Arizona's November 3, 2020 General Election, you undermine the confidence in our democratic institutions," Hobbs' letter said.

Hobbs' spokesperson, C. Murphy Hebert, told Politico that Hobbs and her staff had spoken to the House Select Committee.

"They mostly discussed election administration in Arizona, the 2020 elections, threats/harassment directed toward the office, and the Cyber Ninja's partisan ballot review," Hebert said.

The Michigan document did not use the state's seal and it appears no legal action was taken against those involved. However, a number of state Republicans were signatories to the certificate.

These included Michigan GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock, Shelby County Clerk Stanley Grot and Republican National Committee member Kathy Brenden. Maddock was elected to her position after the document was sent.

The Michigan secretary of state's spokesperson Tracy Wimmer said Benson and her staff answered questions from the House Select Committee about the 2020 election and the events leading up to January 6, 2021.

Trump Supporters Hold a Vigil
A supporter of former President Donald Trump holds up a pocket constitution at a candlelight vigil outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on January 6, 2022 in New York City. Pro-Trump groups in two states submitted fake documents about the Electoral College to the National Archives in December, 2020. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images