Testimony from several elected officials in Michigan — including Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey — was released at the fourth hearing of the US House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. False claims of election fraud led to death threats and harassment against elected officials, election workers, and volunteers.
Need to Know
- Trump supporters reportedly planned to camp out inside the Michigan State Capitol to overturn the election.
- Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said that fraud-claiming Trumpers had bought into “untrue” claims.
- Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson — along with other election workers across the country — faced backlash over the 2020 election results, including a middle-of-the-night protest at her home.
MICHIGAN — Fraud-claiming supporters of former President Donald Trump planned to camp out overnight inside the Michigan State Capitol amid a scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to testimony featured at Tuesday’s US House Committee hearing.
In the fourth of six hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox testified that an attorney who was working with the Trump campaign had informed her of a plan to get inside the Michigan Capitol ahead of the Dec. 14, 2020, meeting of the Electoral College to strengthen their bid to overturn the election results. President Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes.
According to the Detroit News, that lawyer was Robert Norton, an official at Hillsdale College.
“He told me that the Michigan Republican electors were planning to meet in the Capitol and hide overnight so that they could fulfill the role of casting their vote per law in the Michigan chambers,” Cox said. “I told him in no uncertain terms that that was insane and inappropriate.”
That campout plan in Lansing, however, never came to fruition. The fraudulent Trump electors, including Michigan Republican Party co-chairperson Meshawn Maddock, were turned away from the state Capitol after they signed fake certificates in an attempt to steer the vote toward Trump.
Testimony from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was also featured at Tuesday’s hearing, as well as remarks from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel — all of whom said Trump attempted to exert influence to tilt the results of the election in his favor, regardless of the legality of the mechanism sought to do it.
Shirkey, who was subpoenaed to speak before the congressional committee, testified that he received 4,000 texts to overturn the election results after Trump gave out his personal phone number on Twitter. He contended that both he and former House Speaker Lee Chatfield had told the president that they were not going to do anything that violated state law, WDET reports.
Shirkey has previously claimed that the Jan. 6 attack in DC was a “hoax” and “staged.”
“There was a loud noise, a loud consistent cadence of, we heard the Trump folks are calling and asking for changes in the electors and you guys can do this,” Shirkey said during his featured testimony at yesterday’s committee hearing. “Well, they were believing things that were untrue.”
McDaniel reportedly told the House committee that Trump had connected her with another attorney, who outlined a plan to assemble “contingent” electors to help challenge the results.
Benson also told lawmakers that she was repeatedly harassed by Trump supporters over the election results — including during a middle-of-the-night armed protest at her home in Detroit.
“We started to hear the noises outside my home, and that’s when my stomach sank,” she told federal investigators. “Are they going to attack my house? I’m in here with my kid. I’m trying to put him to bed. And so, that was the scariest moment: just not knowing was going to happen.
Benson has said that she’s glad to see the Jan. 6 investigation unfold, reports Michigan Radio.
“I’m really grateful for this committee’s work,” she said. “Because when we were going through this in 2020, there weren’t many in the federal government we could speak to for assistance.”
Much of Tuesday’s hearing centered on the election workers and officials who fended off Trump’s unfounded demands to overturn the election results. Read more recent takeaways here. The next House hearing — the fifth of six of them — is set to begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.