Trump Allies Who ‘Orchestrated’ Plan to Tamper with Voting Machines Face Charges in Michigan

A Michigan resident votes at the Zion St. Joe United Church of Christ on Election Day in 2020.(Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP, File)

By Associated Press

August 4, 2023

LANSING—A Michigan attorney involved in multiple efforts around the country to overturn the 2020 election in support of former President Donald Trump has been charged in connection with accessing and tampering with voting machines in Michigan, prosecutors announced Thursday.

The charges against Stefanie Lambert come days after Matthew DePerno, a Republican lawyer whom Trump endorsed in an unsuccessful run for Michigan attorney general last year, and former GOP state Rep. Daire Rendon were arraigned in connection with the case.

Lambert, DePerno, and Rendon were named by Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office last year as having “orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to voting tabulators.”

Michigan is one of at least three states where prosecutors say people breached election systems while embracing and spreading Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

Investigators there say five vote tabulators were illegally taken from three counties and brought to a hotel room, according to documents released last year by Nessel’s office. The tabulators were then broken into and “tests” were performed on the equipment.

Prosecutors said that Thursday’s announcement “ends the charging decisions in this investigation.”

Investigators named nine individuals in connection with the scheme. Those not charged include Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan, Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, Ben Cotton, Jeff Lenberg and James Penrose.

Local clerks that turned over the vote tabulators and others who analyzed the equipment “were deceived by some of the charged defendants,” according to a statement from special prosecutor D.J. Hilson.

Hilson convened a grand jury in March to determine whether criminal indictments should be issued, court documents show. The citizen grand jury “carefully listened to the sworn testimony,” and “returned a decision to indict each of the defendants,” Hilson said Thursday.

READ MORE: 8 Things to Know About Matt DePerno and His Alleged Election Crimes in Michigan

Lambert, who is listed in court records under the last name Lambert Junttila, appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. She is facing four criminal charges, including undue possession of a voting machine and conspiracy, according to court records.

She did not immediately respond to requests for comment left by email and a phone message with her attorney.

On a conservative podcast appearance last week, Lambert said that she had been notified of an indictment and claimed no wrongdoing. She said Hilson was “misrepresenting the law.”

A state judge ruled last month that it is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to take a machine without a court order or permission directly from the Secretary of State’s office.

Trump, who is now making his third bid for the presidency, was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice on Aug. 1 with conspiracy to defraud the United States among other counts related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Nessel announced last month eight criminal charges each against 16 Republicans who she said submitted false certificates as electors for then-President Trump in Michigan, a state Joe Biden won.

READ MORE: New Indictment Sheds Light on Trump’s Election Lies in Michigan

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