Republican Attorney General Candidate Matt DePerno speaks at an event on the State Capitol lawn following the GOP Nominating Convention. ('Gander Newsroom/Kyle Kaminski)
Republican Attorney General Candidate Matt DePerno speaks at an event on the State Capitol lawn following the GOP Nominating Convention. ('Gander Newsroom/Kyle Kaminski)

Following the 2020 presidential election, a cadre of Trump supporters—including Matt DePerno— allegedly convinced some local clerks in Michigan to hand over five voting tabulators, which is illegal.

LANSING—Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson has been selected as the special prosecutor who will decide whether or not Republican attorney general candidate Matt DePerno will face any criminal charges for allegedly tampering with voting machines after the 2020 election.

The office of Democratic attorney general Dana Nessel last month asked the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council, a state agency, to consider charges against DePerno and eight others. Hilson will also review potential charges against a host of other election conspiracy theorists allegedly involved in the scheme—including state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf.

Following the 2020 presidential election, a cadre of Trump supporters—including DePerno— allegedly convinced some local clerks in Michigan to hand over five voting tabulators. Back at their hotel room, they then allegedly broke into those tabulators to perform “tests.”

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DePerno was named as one of the “prime instigators” of the plan to illegally gain access to the machines. Investigators also said DePerno was present at the hotel room during the testing.

Potential charges include “but are not limited to” conspiracy, using a computer system to commit a crime, willfully damaging a voting machine, malicious destruction of property, fraudulent access to a computer or computer system and false pretenses, reports the Detroit News. Obtaining undue possession of a voting machine used in an election is also a felony punishable by five years in prison.

Attorney General Dana Nessel passed the case off to a special prosecutor last month, citing an inherent conflict of interest because DePerno is her opponent in the Nov. 8 general election.

DePerno built his political reputation—and snagged an early endorsement from Trump—by pushing Trump’s unfounded election fraud claims. Trump lost the election in Michigan by some 154,000 votes, an outcome that has been upheld by multiple investigations, including one by the GOP-led state Senate.

According to documents released by Nessel’s office, the five vote tabulators were taken from Roscommon and Missaukee counties in northern Michigan, and Barry County in western Michigan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.