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Michigan legislative leader: Trump did not call for election interference

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LANSING, MICH. – US President Donald Trump did not call on Republican lawmakers in Michigan to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election at a White House meeting, a lawmaker said on Sunday. day before canvassers plan to meet to see if they need to certify. Victory of 154,000 votes for Joe Biden in the state of the battlefield.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven GOP lawmakers who met Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his prolonged efforts to block Biden’s victory.

“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to intervene, and that just didn’t happen,” he told Fox News of the very unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed except to say that the delegation had requested additional federal assistance to help Michigan’s coronavirus response.

The Michigan election agency recommended that the Nov. 3 results – including Biden’s 2.8 percentage point victory – be certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Democrats and two Republicans. The Republican National Committee and the state’s Republican Party want the council to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state’s largest and home to Detroit.

Staff at the state election office said the alleged irregularities, even if verified, would not significantly affect the outcome. The Michigan Democratic Party said the total number of votes in Detroit implied by imbalanced constituencies – where the number of ballots does not equal the number of names on the poll book – is at most 450, or “0.029% of the margin” separating Biden from Trump.

“The certification process should not be manipulated to serve as a sort of retroactive referendum on the expressed will of the voters. This is just not how democracy works,” President Lavora Barnes wrote to the Council on Sunday. ‘administration.

If the board of directors does not confirm the results and the Michigan Supreme Court does not subsequently order it to do so, Chatfield said “now we have a constitutional crisis.” He and other Republicans, however, have indicated that they will not undermine the will of voters.

“Michigan’s election law clearly requires that state voters be those nominated by the party that received the most votes – not the legislature,” read an email House Republicans sent in. response to people who contact their offices.

Michigan Election Law experts said the state council’s authority was limited in scope and it had to certify the results now that all 83 counties have reported theirs to the state. There are concerns, however, as Trump personally called the two Republicans to the Wayne County Board of Directors last week and they said a day later that they were canceling their previous vote – following a previous stalemate – but it was too late.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican who has met Trump, suggested in a tweet Sunday that state canvassers could “take all the time permitted by law to carry out their duties” at the instead to vote on Monday and said it was inappropriate for anyone to pressure them. “

The deadline is December 13, but it’s five days after the federal “safe harbor” date – when Congress can’t challenge voters appointed on that date under state law.

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections. In fact, election officials from both political parties have publicly stated that the election went well and international observers have confirmed that there is had no serious irregularities.

The problems reported by the Trump campaign and his allies are typical of every election.

Republican US Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan’s longest-serving congressman, told CNN on Sunday that “voters are talking” and the state doesn’t have a presidential race as thin as razors.

“No one has found evidence of fraud or abuse,” he said. He called the request to delay certification “out of bounds”.

The trip to the White House came under intense scrutiny. Lawmakers stayed at the luxurious Trump International hotel and two of them were pictured with expensive drinks at the hotel bar after the meeting.

Spokesmen for Shirkey and Chatfield said lawmakers covered their expenses and no taxpayer money was used. However, they did not say whether the men paid for the trip themselves or if it was paid for in some other way, for example by using their non-profit “administrative” accounts which can accept contributions from others. companies or other donors.

According to a 2016 joint survey by MLive and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, it can be extremely difficult to know who runs these lawmaker-related organizations, who donates them, and what the money is spent on. These accounts can be used to reimburse lawmakers for travel.

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