Ex-President Donald Trump is facing his fourth criminal indictment in five months after he tried to overturn the results of the presidential election in 2020. Michigan is mentioned more than a dozen times in the latest charging documents.
MICHIGAN—Donald Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted in Georgia this week over their efforts to overturn the 2020 election, with prosecutors using a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse Trump and several others of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power.
The nearly 100-page indictment details dozens of criminal acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat—and it includes more than a dozen references to their efforts in the state of Michigan.
Here’s an overview of how the broad criminal enterprise allegedly creeped its way into Michigan:
‘Acts of Racketeering’
The Georgia case covers much of the same ground as Trump’s recent indictment in Washington D.C., including attempts he and his allies made to disrupt the electoral vote count at the US Capitol. Specifically, it alleges that Trump and his allies “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election”—including a “common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering” in Georgia, as well in several other states.
Michigan was included on that list.
The Big Lie
Many of the 161 crimes outlined in the latest indictment from Georgia have already received widespread national attention—including a Jan. 2, 2021 call in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to overturn his loss.
During that call, Trump also made some false claims about voter fraud in Michigan:
The indictment also mentions another call that Trump made to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, where Trump asked Carr to lie about voter fraud and “not to discourage” other attorneys general to contest the election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin—and Michigan.
But the lies weren’t only told to officials in Georgia, according to the recent indictment.
Two weeks after Election Day, Trump, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani met with former Michigan Senate Leader Mike Shirkey and former House Speaker Lee Chatfield at the Oval Office—where Trump made “false statements concerning fraud” in the 2020 election, according to the indictment.
About two weeks later, Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, another Trump attorney, also provided “false statements concerning fraud” to the Michigan House and requested that state lawmakers illegally appoint a fake slate of presidential electors, according to the latest indictment.
The next day, Giuliani also told lawmakers in Georgia that Dominion Voting Systems equipment used in Antrim County had mistakenly recorded 6,000 extra votes for Biden instead of Trump.
According to the indictment, Giuliani (and the rest of Trump’s team) knew that was a lie.
One week later, an attorney with the Trump campaign allegedly received a detailed memorandum (and state-specific instructions) from one defendant on how to swap out real presidential electors for alternate slates of fake electors—including in Michigan. The indictment painted this memorandum as part of Trump’s broader gameplan to subvert the will of the voters.
One week later, Giuliani again provided false statements to Georgia lawmakers during a committee meeting—echoing several lies about so-called election fraud, including in Michigan.
Several of the defendants charged in this week’s indictment allegedly created false Electoral College documents, and recruited individuals to convene and cast false electoral votes at the Georgia State Capitol. Those fake votes were then sent to the US Senate and other agencies, specifically in an attempt to “disrupt and delay” the joint session of Congress tasked with certifying the presidential election results on Jan. 6, 2021.
The latest indictment points out the similarities between the alleged scheme to meddle with the election results in Georgia and other foiled plots to overturn the presidential election that were also discovered in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin—and Michigan.
Similar to the situation in Georgia, a group of 16 Michigan Republicans were charged this month with election forgery, among other crimes, after they signed their names to certificates that falsely claimed they were the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors for the 2020 election.
According to the indictment, Trump’s team also set up a spreadsheet that had tracked the fake slate of electors in Michigan (among other states)—and it included information about whether each of them had vowed to pledge their support for Trump, despite his clear defeat at the polls.
Stolen Voting Machines
According to the indictment, several of the defendants who were charged this week had “corruptly conspired” to illegally access voting equipment and voter data—and in some cases actually got their hands on stolen election data and software, including in the state of Michigan.
Less than a month after the election, Sidney Powell—a Trump lawyer who supported his legally dubious ideas aimed at overturning the election—had entered into an agreement with a forensic data firm to collect analytics on Dominion’s voting equipment “in Michigan and elsewhere.”
An email sent to the firm also showed Powell demanding data obtained from Michigan.
The indictment also alleges that Powell lied to Congress about the whole scheme.
Matt DePerno, the Republican candidate who failed to unseat Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in November, isn’t named in the latest indictment—but he’s facing separate felony charges after he allegedly tampered with voting machines following the 2020 election, sued Antrim County over its results, and echoed false claims of voter fraud.
Legal Troubles Ahead
The indictment represents the fourth in a remarkable crush of criminal cases that Trump is now facing as he leads the Republican field for president in 2024. Besides the two election-related cases, he also faces a separate federal indictment accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents after he left the White House, as well as a New York state case charging him with falsifying business records.
The defendants in the Georgia indictment have all been asked to voluntarily surrender by Aug. 25. Prosecutors said they plan to push the case to one collective trial within the next six months.
The Associated Press contributed to this coverage.