Michigan Secretary of State writes searing letter on why she turned down election hearing

Jocelyn Benson/Facebook

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson declined an invitation to appear at a House Oversight Committee hearing on alleged — and unsubstantiated — interference in the November election, calling a recent hearing "such an embarrassment, lacking in merit and any form of decorum, that it was mocked on national comedy shows as a clear waste of taxpayer dollars."

Benson made the comments in a letter sent to Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall, on Tuesday, and didn't mince words.

"I am aware of the hearings the Committee has conducted, and am concerned that contrary to your desire to 'get to the bottom' of election questions, they are instead amplifying already debunked conspiracy theories and previously disproven claims of people who lack basic knowledge of election administration, and in doing so undermining the integrity of the election and wounding our democracy," she wrote.

Without naming names, she referenced an infamous hearing in Lansing last month in which President Donald Trump's personal attorney, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, absolutely humiliated himself (for the price of $20,000 a day, allegedly).

"In a recent hearing of your committee, leadership was handed over to an out-of-state private attorney hired by a political candidate who lost in the recent election," she wrote. "That individual proceeded to spout false and baseless accusations against Michigan public servants — including more than 1,600 election clerks and tens of thousands of election workers. He called Wayne County’s chief judge, a Republican appointee, a 'hack' and suggested various individuals should be prosecuted based on zero evidence of wrongdoing. Just prior to the hearing this same attorney suggested that you and your colleagues would be threatened if you did not act as he would like and overturn the outcome of the election, despite the fact that Attorney General William Barr, the FBI and CISA have confirmed its security and accuracy."

Benson said she looks forward to opportunities to speak with state lawmakers about reforms and improvements for future elections, and praised the state's election workers, who she called "resourceful, resilient, and dedicated public servants."

"Particularly beneficial legislation that already has bipartisan support would provide election clerks more time to process absentee ballots before Election Day, and give military members and their spouses overseas the opportunity to securely return their ballots electronically," Benson wrote.

Michigan's electors cast the state's 16 Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday.

"Since this election was settled and has been found to be conducted fairly and accurately, I look forward to having a conversation with any willing lawmakers about reforms and improvements we can make going forward for future elections, with an eye towards making data driven decisions and implementing
solutions to ensure all citizens can have rightly placed faith in the results of our elections as an accurate reflection of the will of the people," Benson wrote.

Earlier this month, dozens of Trump supporters, some of which were armed, gathered outside her house in what she called an act of "intimidation."

You can read the full letter below or here.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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