Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (AP Photo/Paul Sancya File) File photo
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (AP Photo/Paul Sancya File)

Attorney General Dana Nessel is leading the bipartisan effort to hold those who lied about the 2020 election accountable, and investigating how they profited from tricking Michiganders.

LANSING, Mich.—The 2020 election was harrowing for everyday workers and experts who worked towards a fair and accurate tally of results. 

Ballot counters were besieged at the TCF Center in Detroit. Credible threats were made to the lives of Michigan’s electors. The US Capitol itself was attacked by violent extremists. 

All done in service to an idea that was repeatedly, routinely, and thoroughly proven untrue.

RELATED: Michigan Broke Voting Records in 2020. Now Republicans Want to Make Voting Harder.

An exhaustive investigation was conducted into the now-proven false allegations made about the integrity of Michigan’s election. Republicans in the state’s Senate determined yet again that no systemic fraud existed, no election was stolen, and that President Joe Biden fairly won the state of Michigan.

Now, even Republican senators are calling for Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the people who amplified untrue stories around the election “to raise money or publicity for their own ends.”

Nessel is doing just that.

These Lies Have Consequences

Nessel’s office did not comment on the ongoing investigation, but several situations cited in the Senate report are likely part of its scope. 

People mentioned in it include lawyer Matthew DePerno; he unsuccessfully sued Antrim County over a clerical error that happened while clerks gathered election results. The error was corrected before a final count was given, and results verified. Still, he falsely cried Election fraud and knowing spread his dishonest rhetoric,  Senate investigators say, 

READ MORE: There Was No Evidence of Voting Impropriety in Michigan. Or Wisconsin. Or Pennsylvania. Or Anywhere Else.

Antrim County’s election results looked kind of weird in the days after the polls closed. This happened because of a data storage error. The error was quickly found, results were corrected, and a hand recount was conducted to verify those results. But Antrim remains crucial to some of the patently false and wild conspiracy theories woven by those attempting to discredit free and fair elections, especially those spun by DePerno.

Another individual in the report is Republican ex-state Sen. Patrick Colbeck. He was involved in promoting baseless conspiracy theories against the private companies that were contracted to develop election technology. 

The Republican author of the investigation report, state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), directly accused the men of committing election fraud with their efforts to discredit the final tallied results, and knowingly spreading lies about the election.

“We found circumstantial, but substantial, evidence that some people were committing fraud and extorting people for money,” McBroom told Bridge. “It’s possible that we’re wrong, but we didn’t have the tools, the expertise or the mechanisms to explore that issue further.”

DON’T MISS: How a Handful of Michiganders Could Make Voting Harder for the Rest of Us

He added: “No one has free speech if they’re committing a crime, and committing fraud is a crime.”

A central thrust of McBroom’s findings is that people advancing the false claims about the elections were doing so for their own personal benefit—and he cautioned Michiganders to be skeptical of election information from his fellow conservatives. 

“The committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain,” he wrote.

The Michigan State Police are assisting in the AG’s investigation, though further details about the probe are likely months if not years from becoming public.