Arraignment was underway Thursday morning for 10 of the 16 suspects charged in Michigan’s alleged fake electors scheme related to the 2020 Presidential Election.
Thursday’s arraignment occurred via Zoom from the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Laura Millmore. As of 10:15am ET Thursday, all suspects had pleaded not guilty and were released on $1,000 bond.
Each of the suspected fake Michigan electors were charged with eight state felonies, including forgery, conspiracy to commit election law forgery, and publishing a counterfeit record.
Several of the defendants’ attorneys have said they’ll challenge the case and try to get their clients’ charges dropped. Several defendants have asserted that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is wrongly targeting her political opponents, an allegation she denies, claiming “overwhelming evidence of guilt.”
Two weeks after Nessel announced the charges in Michigan, Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted former President Trump on four criminal counts related to attempts to overturn the 2020 election, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges during his August 3 arraignment at the federal courthouse in Washington DC.
One of the six co-conspirators in Trump’s indictment, though none were indicted themselves, is as described having “assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.” He has been identified by the news media as Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro.
On Wednesday, the New York Times revealed a memo by Chesebro dated December 6, 2020 in which he lays out what he admits is a “bold, controversial strategy”: the fake electors scheme, which falsely claimed that then-Vice President Pence, in his role as president of the U.S. Senate, had the power to block the certification of any of the 50 U.S. states’ votes on January 6, 2021.
In the memo, while Chesebro concedes that the plan would “likely” be rejected by the Supreme Court, he argues that it would buy Trump team more time to challenge then-President-elect Biden’s 2020 victory.
The defendants in Thursday’s arraignment in Michigan were listed on the court docket in Lansing. All Republicans, they include failed candidates, the state GOP co-chair and an RNC committee member along with various local officials.