Matthew DePerno: Trump-backed GOP nominee for Michigan AG faces criminal investigation for possibly tampering with voting machines, docs say

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For months, Michigan State Police and the Attorney General’s Office have been investigating a series of voting machine violations that took place in several counties across the state last year. According to documents released Monday, that probe led investigators to Kalamazoo-based attorney Matthew DePerno, a Republican candidate against outgoing Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Trump gave his support to DePerno, and he picked up an endorsement Michigan Republican Party activists earlier this year, paving the way for him to officially become the GOP nominee for attorney general at the party’s convention later this month. He is one of several Trump-backed Holocaust deniers currently running to become the top law enforcement official or top election official in their states.

Nessel is now asking for the appointment of a special prosecutor to avoid a potential conflict of interest. The voting machine violations investigation uncovered facts that indicate DePerno and two other associates may have broken the law when they “orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to the vote tabulators,” according to the Nessel’s office.

“When this investigation began, there was no conflict of interest. However, during the investigation, facts were developed that DePerno was a primary instigator of the conspiracy,” wrote the Nessel’s office in an Aug. 5 petition to prosecutors. Coordinating Counsel to appoint a special prosecutor.

The DePerno Campaign tweeted a statement on Sunday evening saying he considered the request for a special prosecutor and “denied the allegations presented”. The statement also states that “the claims presented by Nessel show a totally unwarranted and misguided attack based on political prosecution.”

The request from Nessel’s office alleges that DePerno was present in a hotel room in early 2021 when a group of individuals performed unauthorized “tests” on vote tabulators they had seized in several counties across the country. Michigan – suggesting investigators have evidence that directly links him to potential unlawful breaches.

“We have requested the appointment of a special prosecutor to review the case for the issuance of possible criminal charges against several of those involved. We consider the actions of these individuals to be very serious,” the office wrote. de Nessel in a letter to Michigan. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a fellow Democrat, summarizing the findings of the investigation.

Reuters first reported DePerno’s alleged role in the voting machine violations. The Detroit News first reported Nessel’s request for a special prosecutor.
In May, CNN reported that Michigan State Police expanded their investigation into whether third parties gained unauthorized access to voting machine data after the 2020 election, and that the investigation was investigating potential violations in multiple counties. The investigation began in February after Benson’s office discovered a violation of vote tabulation components in County Roscommon in rural northern Michigan.

The Michigan investigation reflects a growing number of incidents uncovered across the country where Trump supporters attempted to access voting systems, as part of efforts to nullify or undermine the election result. 2020 presidential election. It also comes as several Trump-endorsed candidates have won the Republican nomination for roles that could position them to oversee future elections in key battleground states in the future.

They were successful in at least one case in late November 2020, when a team of pro-Trump operatives traveled to County Antrim, Michigan, and conducted an audit of voting systems there, according to sources. court documents released in an unsuccessful lawsuit filed by lawyers. working on behalf of the former president at the time.

The lawsuit was led by DePerno and led to a debunked report since released by a analyst team of a Texas-based company, Allied Security Operations Group, alleging improprieties in Dominion Voting Systems that have been consistently cited as evidence in multiple unsuccessful legal challenges in Michigan and other swing states. (There is no evidence to support GOP claims of wrongdoing on Dominion’s part.)

Among the evidence Michigan investigators say they uncovered as part of their probe into the voting machine violations are digital IDs that DePerno had used as evidence in the failed prosecution.

“There must be consequences for those who broke the law to undermine our elections to advance their own political agendas,” Benson told CNN in a statement.

She added, “Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan election clerks in this state do their jobs with professionalism and integrity, and we will continue to ensure that they are equipped with a full understanding of the legal protections in place to prevent bad actors to pressure them into accessing secure electoral systems.

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