Matthew DePerno, the Trump-endorsed GOP nominee for Michigan attorney general, was so committed to defending the former president’s false claims of election fraud that he orchestrated the unauthorized tampering of voting equipment after the 2020 election, Reuters reported Sunday, citing court filings and public records.
The alleged security breach in early 2021 of a vote tabulator in Richfield Township, Michigan, by those working with DePerno is being investigated by the state’s Democratic attorney general, Dana Nessel. Her office is also looking into three other instances of tampering. “To ensure Michigan’s elections are secure in the future, there must be consequences now for the people who illegally accessed the state’s voting machines,” a spokesperson for Nessel told Reuters.
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Nessel on Friday called for a special prosecutor to investigate DePerno, as he is now her opponent in the state’s attorney general election. “When this investigation began there was not a conflict of interest,” her petition requesting a special prosecutor reads, according to Politico. “However, during the course of the investigation, facts were developed that DePerno was one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy. A conflict arises when ‘the prosecuting attorney has a personal interest (financial or emotional) in the litigation,’” it says.
Like Trump, DePerno has been raising money off bogus election claims. And, similar to the ex-president, he has labeled political opponents like Nessel “lawless,” despite it now appearing that his own conduct may be illegal. It is a felony in Michigan to obtain or even seek unauthorized access to voting equipment.
Should DePerno win in November and become the state’s top elections official, he could very well use the full weight of his office to bring frivolous lawsuits, depending on the outcome of certain races. An attorney, DePerno went to court after the 2020 election, falsely asserting that Dominion Voting Systems (the target of reckless if not libelous commentary from Trump’s allies) prearranged the vote count in favor of Joe Biden.
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