The state’s attorney general requested a special prosecutor to come in and investigate nine people for their role in potential election tampering. Dana Nessel is asking for a special prosecutor because one of the people involved is her opponent in November’s general election, Matthew DePerno.
The investigation also includes Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf and State Representative Daire Rendon of Lake City.
Back in February, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asked Nessel to look into claims a group came to local clerks in Roscommon, Missaukee and Barry Counties and asked for access to election tabulators.
Late last week, after months of investigation, Nessel requested the special prosecutor to take over, to avoid a conflict of interest with the election looming.
The Attorney General’s office sent a to Benson laying out what they believe the group did.
According to the petition, Rendon went to the Roscommon County clerk and told her representatives were doing an investigation into the election and needed access to the tabulators.
Eventually, the clerk handed over the machine and copies of records, when asked about the investigation, Rendon told the clerk not to worry about it, according to the letter.
A similar event happened in Barry and Missaukee Counties, says the AG’s office.
The letter says five total tabulators were taken to hotels and Airbnb’s in Oakland County where DePerno was involved and little is known what happened.
Monday morning, DePerno went on a downstate radio show and defended himself against the allegations.
“Her allegations are total garbage,” DePerno said, “This is coming strategically. She’s trying to damage me right now.”
DePerno was endorsed by the Michigan GOP this spring and expected to be officially nominated at the statewide convention later this month. He has been one of the loudest voices in the state on false claims of election fraud.
“I have not had anything to do with any hotels or any Airbnb’s,” said DePerno, “90% of the facts that she laid out in the petition, or what she calls facts, are either false or I have no knowledge of what she’s talking about.”
According to the letter, DePerno has used video and pictures of a tabulator in his arguments for election fraud from November 2020.
If the special prosecutor is granted, and finds enough evidence to charge the group, tampering with election machinery, and conspiring to do so, are each five year felonies.
“It’s all nonsense. It’ll all be proven false and will all be proven that she’s doing this for political reasons,” said DePerno, “To damage a political opponent.”
It is not known if a decision on charges will be made before the general election on November 8th.
Rendon is term limited in the House and not seeking election elsewhere.