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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Charges 16 ‘False Electors’ with Election Law and Forgery Felonies
July 18, 2023
LANSING – Today, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced felony charges against 16 Michigan residents for their role in the alleged false electors scheme following the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The charged defendants are:
- Kathy Berden, 70, of Snover
- William (Hank) Choate, 72, of Cement City
- Amy Facchinello, 55, of Grand Blanc
- Clifford Frost, 75, of Warren
- Stanley Grot, 71, of Shelby Township
- John Haggard, 82, of Charlevoix
- Mari-Ann Henry, 65, of Brighton
- Timothy King, 56, of Ypsilanti
- Michele Lundgren, 73, of Detroit
- Meshawn Maddock, 55, of Milford
- James Renner, 76, of Lansing
- Mayra Rodriguez, 64, of Grosse Pointe Farms
- Rose Rook, 81, of Paw Paw
- Marian Sheridan, 69, of West Bloomfield
- Ken Thompson, 68, of Orleans
- Kent Vanderwood, 69, of Wyoming
- One count of Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, a 14-year felony,
- Two counts of Forgery, a 14-year felony,
- One count of Conspiracy to Commit Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,
- One count of Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,
- One count of Conspiracy to Commit Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony, and,
- Two counts of Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony.
“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” said Nessel. "My department has prosecuted numerous cases of election law violations throughout my tenure, and it would be malfeasance of the greatest magnitude if my department failed to act here in the face of overwhelming evidence of an organized effort to circumvent the lawfully cast ballots of millions of Michigan voters in a presidential election.”
These defendants are alleged to have met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14th, and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the “duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.” These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan.
“The evidence will demonstrate there was no legal authority for the false electors to purport to act as ‘duly elected presidential electors’ and execute the false electoral documents,” Nessel continued. “Every serious challenge to the election had been denied, dismissed, or otherwise rejected by the time the false electors convened. There was no legitimate legal avenue or plausible use of such a document or an alternative slate of electors. There was only the desperate effort of these defendants, who we have charged with deliberately attempting to interfere with and overturn our free and fair election process, and along with it, the will of millions of Michigan voters. That the effort failed and democracy prevailed does not erase the crimes of those who enacted the false electors plot.”
Each defendant, or their attorneys, have been notified of the charges and the court will provide each with a date to appear before the 54-A District Court in Ingham County for arraignment.
This remains an ongoing investigation, and the Michigan Department of Attorney General has not ruled out potential charges against additional defendants. Each of the 16 charged defendants will next appear in 54-A District Court in Ingham County for individual arraignments. No dates have yet been set by the court for subsequent proceedings.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.