Michigan Democrats call on DOJ to investigate GOP colleagues for ‘seditious conspiracy’

Bill alleges Republican lawmakers illegally tried to overturn the election

Michigan State Capitol. - Brian Charles Watson, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Brian Charles Watson, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Michigan State Capitol.

Democratic state lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that urges the Department of Justice to investigate their Republican colleagues for attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

"An essential element of being a legislator is accepting the peaceful transition of power when the people choose different leaders, and these members failed to faithfully discharge the duties of their office by acting to undermine this basic tenet of democracy," the resolution states. "Michigan residents deserve better leaders than people who would subvert their own government to remain in power."

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Joe Tate, alleges that 11 Republican state legislators violated federal law by conspiring to overthrow the government and delay the execution of laws. The measure states that the legislators should be investigated “for the crime of seditious conspiracy.”

Five of the Republican legislators – Reps. Julie Alexander of Hanover, Beth Griffin of Mattawan, Matt Maddock of Milford, John Reilly of Oakland Township and Daire Rendon of Lake City – tried to enter the state Capitol building so a group of Republicans could fraudulently cast their electoral college votes for then-President Donald Trump. Those fake electors are now under federal investigation.

In December 2020, the five legislators joined Reps. Gary Eisen of St. Clair Township, Michele Hoitenga of Manton, Greg Markkanen of Hancock, Jack O'Malley of Lake Ann, Brad Paquette of Niles and Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township to sign on to a baseless lawsuit filed by Texas that sought to challenge the election results in several states, including Michigan.

Many of the same lawmakers also signed a letter demanding a full forensic audit of the 2020 election, falsely claiming there were “numerous irregularities.” They also urged Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel last month to investigate and “bring charges if credible evidence is found” stemming from a widely denounced propaganda film, “2000 Mules,” by conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza.

The Republican legislators have cited false claims about the election to introduce dozens of bills aimed at restricting voting rights.

Progress Michigan, a nonprofit progressive group, said it supports the Democrats’ resolution.

“From the fake electors to the lawmakers in Lansing who tried to steamroll over a free fair election, what happened in 2020 was unprecedented, as sitting lawmakers and the Michigan Republican Party tried to illegally overturn the will of Michigan voters,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said in a statement Wednesday. “Not only has there been no accountability, but many of the lawmakers named in the resolution continue to tout their anti-voter actions as a point of pride. This resolution is a step toward progress, just like when Attorney General Dana Nessel referred the fake electors to the DOJ. We’re glad there are elected officials out there who continue to speak up about this issue, but we need even more urgency and action as those who tried to disenfranchise Michigan voters need to be held accountable or they may try again.”

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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