Politics Michigan GOP investigation finds no evidence of widespread fraud in 2020 election
Congress likely won't take action on the growing threats to election integrity, leaving election workers vulnerable to criminal prosecution and results open to partisan tampering
Neither the two main voting rights bills currently in Congress address the growing threat of partisan legislatures meddling in election results.The Senate is gearing up for a showdown over voting rights and the filibuster at the end of June, amid the backdrop Republican state legislators passing an unprecedented number of laws tightening rules for voters and election officials.
A Republican-led investigation concluded Wednesday that there was "no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud" in Michigan's 2020 election, rejecting claims by former President Donald Trump and his allies that the state's election results were fraudulent.
"There is no evidence presented at this time to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized, wide-scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated in order to subvert the will of Michigan voters," the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee said in areleased Wednesday.
Schembechler's family says 'Bo was not aware' of Robert Anderson's sexual assaults at Michigan
His second wife issues statement disputing claims Bo Schembechler knew about sexual assaults of players and one of his sons and did nothing."It is telling to us that Bo never spoke to any of us about inappropriate behavior by Dr. Anderson," Cathy Schembechler, Bo's second wife; his son, Glenn "Shemy" Schembechler III and Shemy's wife, Megan, said in a statement issued through a spokesperson. "To the contrary, in our steadfast opinion, Bo was not aware of such conduct and assumed that any procedures were medically appropriate.
The report's findings refute allegations that Trump and his supporters promoted about the 2020 election process in Michigan as they sought to overturn Joe Biden's victory.
The release of the report comes after Michigan Republicans proposed bills that would overhaul the state's election laws, including proposals that would require voters to submit IDs or only be allowed to cast provisional ballots, restrict the hours that voters could drop their ballots into curbside drop-boxes, and require a driver's license or state identification numbers to request a mail-in ballot.
Republican say the bills would protect the integrity of elections -- an argument made nationwide as GOP lawmakers push for more restrictive laws -- while Democrats argue the measures are part of a GOP strategy to get fewer people to vote in the 2022 elections.
Maricopa County's partisan ballot review in final stages
The audit won't change the 2020 election results, but it has inspired conservatives in other battleground states to call for similar recounts.Earlier this year, Arizona Senate Republicans took possession of the ballots and 400 election machines by subpoena. Arizona had already audited its ballots and election equipment and found no issues with the 2020 election results. President Biden won the state by 10,457 votes, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Arizona since 1996.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has denounced the measures and is expected to veto the bills. But GOP officials are threatening to use ain which they gather enough signatures in a petition drive to circumvent the governor's anticipated veto and enact the legislation.
The Senate committee, led by Republicans, debunked claims that deceased people or non-residents voted in the election, voting tabulators were compromised, ballots were harvested, ballots were "dumped" at the TCF Center in Detroit, and votes for Trump in Antrim County were switched.
According to the report, there were two cases in Wayne County where an individual appeared to have voted but was deceased. One was a clerical error in which a 118-year-old man shared an identical name with his son. The other was a 92-year-old woman who died days before the election.
Claims that people who were no longer Michigan residents but voted in the state elections also proved to be false, the committee said.
Sidney Powell facing sanctions hearing in Detroit over election fraud claims
A federal judge has summoned Sidney Powell and other lawyers accused of peddling false fraud claims in the aftermath of the 2020 election to Detroit for a sanctions hearing. © Provided by Washington Examiner Judge Linda Parker ordered Powell and Michigan attorneys Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom, and Stefanie Junttila to appear before a judge at 2 p.m. on July 6, according to the Detroit Free Press. The decision follows a request from Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, who argued Powell's effort to overturn Michigan's election victory for President Joe Biden was based on debunked lies.
The committee said that there was no evidence that thousands of absentee voter ballots were mailed out without having been requested, adding that people who made these claims were equating absentee ballot applications with actual absentee ballots.
The committee also focused some of its most intense scrutiny on the false claims made that ballots were manipulated in Antrim County through Dominion Voting Systems. The report stated that the data "clearly and concisely shows that ideas and speculation that the Antrim County election workers or outside entities manipulated the vote by hand or electronically are indefensible."
"Further, the Committee is appalled at what can only be deduced as a willful ignorance or avoidance of this proof perpetuated by some leading such speculation," the report said.
The Michigan Senate Oversight Committee began its investigation into election fraud claims on November 7, just days after Election Day. Then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,188 votes.
Last year, Michigan had conducted a statewide risk-limiting audit, reaffirming the accuracy of Michigan's voting machines, including an audit of the ballots cast in Antrim County.
Former Michigan athletes demand state AG investigate handling of Robert Anderson reports
Former Michigan athletes want the state attorney general's office to conduct an investigation into the university's handling of Dr. Robert Anderson.At a news conference across the street from Michigan Stadium on Wednesday morning, Richard Goldman, Tad Deluca and Jon Vaughn all implored Michigan's Board of Regents, which meets Thursday, to take action.
In compiling its Wednesday report, the Senate committee reviewed 28 hours of testimony from nearly 90 individuals, subpoenaed documents from government entities, and "countless" claims and concerns from Michiganders.
"Our clear finding is that citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan," the committee said in its report. "The Committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain."
The panel recommended that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel weigh investigating individuals who used misleading and false information about Antrim County's results to raise money or gain publicity.
While it found no evidence of widespread fraud, the committee said there are "glaring issues" and "clear weaknesses" in Michigan's elections system "that require legislative remedy."
In its report, the committee recommended that the secretary of state cease mailing out unsolicited absentee ballot applications, signature verification requirements be established, and video security be added to ballot drop boxes, among other suggestions.
The committee is also pushing for county clerks to be given more authority to help remove deceased voters from Michigan's voter registration system.
Some of the committee's recommendations are already a part of the larger legislative package intended to overhaul the state's election laws.
Bill Barr called Trump election fraud claims ‘bulls***,’ book says .
Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly called then-President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election “bulls***” in private conversations last year. © Provided by Washington Examiner The past comments were revealed in excerpts of ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl’s book Betrayal, which is set to be released in November 2021. Barr was purportedly unconvinced of the 45th president’s fraud claims and had at least one high-profile run-in with Trump, during which the pair exchanged harsh words.