Two Republican Michigan Officials Attempt To Rescind Certifications Of Election Results

Just as you thought that the 2020 election could not get more bizarre, the controversy in Wayne County over the certification of the election took a new turn on Wednesday after two Republicans — Monica Palmer and William C. Hartmann, on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers sought to rescind their votes to certify. They claim that they were coerced by threats against them and their families by Democratic voters. The threats against Palmer and Hartmann are all-too-familiar in an election where Democratic members are calling for blacklists and others denounce any questioning of the Biden victory as akin to “Holocaust denial.” The Lincoln Project has led a national effort to harass any lawyers who represent Republicans or the Trump campaign. While it will be difficult to rescind such a vote, the silence in the media and from Democratic leaders on this harassment is chilling. Indeed, Democratic leaders have joined in the personal attacks.

The errors seem to be minor and certainly not enough to alter any outcome. They are in all likelihood clerical or human error. It is not clear why the errors were not corrected and could not simply be quickly addressed after the two officials raised them. In terms of changing the outcome, this may be a tempest in a teapot but why have a tempest at all? I still do not understand why the counts were not corrected since officials have acknowledged errors. Instead, the objections to the errors triggered a campaign of abuse.

The two canvassers signed affidavits that they were hit with a torrent of threats against them and their families after they demanded that the board address irregularities in what they said were 71% of Detroit’s 134 absent voter counting boards.  They were hit with personal attacks calling them racists and cult members. In a familiar campaign of post-election intimidation, they were doxxed and attacked.  The Lincoln Project (which is supported by thousands of lawyers and law firms) was blocked on Twitter in using such abusive tactics against individual Republican lawyers.

The two officials were instantly declared racist because the county has such a large African-American voting base: “Monica Palmer and William Hartmann took their hoods off yesterday in their initial assertions that the county certify every city’s vote except for Detroit.” They were called cult members and their telephone numbers and addresses shared in a doxxing campaign.

Ned Staebler, chief executive of TechTown, lashed out at the two officials in asking for the correction of the errors: “The Trump stain, the stain of racism that you, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, have covered yourself in, is going to follow you throughout history.” He added that the two officials would “forever be known in southeastern Michigan as two racists who did something so unprecedented that they disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Black voters in the city of Detroit.”

One of those attacking the two officials was Rep.-elect Abraham Aiyash, D-Detroit. Aiyash declared:

“You are certainly showing that you are a racist. You may say that you are not, you may claim that you are not, but let’s be very clear. Your words today and your actions today made it clear that you are OK with silencing the votes of an 80% African American city . . . What that tells us is you Ms. Monica Palmer of Grosse Pointe Woods, which has a history of racism, are deciding to enable and continuing to perpetuate the racist history of this country. And I want you to think about what that means for your kids, who probably go to Grosse Pointe North, and when they see all their Black classmates and they know that… their mother, or their grandmother, their aunt, decided to say, in this democracy in this American project, that is not perfect but we have to work toward perfecting it, I’m going to be comfortable sleeping at night knowing that I silenced the votes of so many people.”

They were also attacked by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: “In refusing to approve the results of the election in Wayne County, the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers have placed partisan politics above their legal duty to certify the election results.”

Some individuals went further to threaten the officials and their families, a growing occurrence in the country. Yesterday, I spoke to a group of Republican lawyers who recounted how bomb attacks and other violent threats have been directed at them and their families. The Lincoln Project and various lawyers have led efforts to intimidate lawyers and their clients.

It worked in Michigan. The two officials reversed their votes, but said that they did so under an agreement that the Secretary of State would conduct an audit. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson however reportedly later said the audit request was not binding. Palmer stated  that she “felt misled.”

The signed affidavits trying to “rescind” these votes will face serious obstacles. Board vice chairman Jonathan Kinloch has already stated that the board considers the votes “binding.” He noted that there was also a vote waiving any reconsideration of the certification.


I do not see a court undoing those votes even with the sworn statements on the campaign of threats and abuse directed against them and their families.

The officials could add their affidavits to alleging of election irregularities and they can ask for criminal investigations into any personal threats.

There have also been threats reported by Democratic officials in states like Arizona that should be equally condemned. We are allowing the most radical elements of our politics to shape our dialogue as a nation in the aftermath of one of the most divisive elections in history.

What is missing however are calls in the media or from Democratic leaders to end such campaign of intimidation and abuse by groups like The Lincoln Project. While President-elect Joe Biden has called for unity and healing, he has said nothing about the campaign against Trump campaign lawyers and their clients. He has said nothing about reports of violent threats against officials or lawyers tied to election challenges. No law firms or lawyers have publicly withdrawn their support for the Lincoln Project after it pledged half a million dollars to hound and harass lawyers. The silence speaks loudly to our loss of civility, decency, and professionalism as a nation.


181 thoughts on “Two Republican Michigan Officials Attempt To Rescind Certifications Of Election Results”

      1. The ongoing Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious crime in American political history.

        The co-conspirators are:

        Kevin Clinesmith, Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann,

        James Comey, Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic,

        Sally Yates, James Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell,

        Sir Richard Dearlove, Christopher Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud,

        Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary,

        Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,

        Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama,

        Joe Biden, James E. Boasberg et al.

        1. You need help, George. Really. You left out the tens of millions of Americans who voted against your hero. They’re part of the conspiracy to deny your overgrown child-man his second “victory”.

          1. NUTCHACHA,

            You’re so fraudulent and disingenuous.

            We’re in the U.S.

            There are 50 state elections, resulting in electoral votes, a majority of which President Trump won (you’ll soon see the guilty algorithm).

            Sorry, the popular vote is immaterial. Go tell it to Hills.

            You’re too nutty in your cha cha to know all that stuff, huh?

          2. Anyone who wants to justify terrorizing American citizens who are on election boards, poll watchers or attorneys for representing the interests of 1. The rule of law and 2. 70+million Americans that voted for Trump, like yourself, loses any credibility.

  1. Turley: you either haven’t heard the whole story, or you are choosing only to tell the story with a pro-Trump, pro-Republican, anti-Democratic slant. When the 2 Republicans refused to certify, the Michigan State Republican Party chairman effusively praised them. However, after discussions with the Democrats on the board and agreeing to ask the state for a partial audit, the 2 Republicans reversed their decision because they were satisfied with this as a means of resolution. The male Republican refused an interview, but Palmer was interviewed, and she said that neither she nor her Republican fellow board member had any doubt that Biden won, they also had no doubt that there was no fraud, ballot packing or other dishonest motive involved–rather, she said that there had been counting or reporting discrepancies in the primary in certain districts that they thought had been remedied, but weren’t, and that was the sole reason for initially refusing to certify. The discrepancies amounted to only a handful of votes. She said NOTHING about death threats, although she did say she received a massive amount of criticism. No doubt, the criticism morphed into something worse when the Michigan State Republican chairman praised them–the implication being that they were standing up for Trump–to support his baseless claim of cheating. More people voted in this election than any one in recent history, and there was more monitoring than ever before. There are always discrepancies due to human error. That’s not cheating.

    And, now, they’re trying to walk back their certification–why? That should be the story here–Turley–why would they do this? Whom do you think is behind this second flip flop? Could it just be that because Trumpy Bear has lost literally dozens of lawsuits in battleground states because there was no evidence whatsoever of fraud, cheating or any other bad motivation, that he saw a chance to get something, anything, for Hannity, Tucker, Ingraham, Levin and Limbaugh to bloviate about tonight to continue the narrative about how he was cheated out of his second “victory”? No, Turley only wants to write about those terrible Democrats and the bad things they do, their bad intentions, bad complaints of racism.

    This nonsense has to stop–this was the most heavily monitored election in U.S. history. Trump has divided America into two camps, and Fox News has fostered these divisions, demonizing Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and other Democrats, lying about the Democratic party being led by AOC and others to the far-left. Just take a look at all of the baseless hatred of Democrats, “libs”, and “the Left”, you see every day on this blog–where does it come from? America is experiencing historic economic and health crises–we need to stop fighting among ourselves. Trump lost. Fair and square, just as he was predicted to, and consistent with polls and his history of negative approval ratings. Whining about minor discrepancies in vote counts, which is the only factual evidence, and trying to stop vote certifications is wrong. The rest of Trump’s claims of fraud, manipulation of votes, ballot dumping and the rest are all the product of his mental illness, which should not be encouraged. He should be roundly criticized for firing Chris Krebs for speaking truth to power–Trump lost.

      1. I did, and here’s some more that just came out: Trump called Palmer and the other person after the flip flopped, and he has invited the head of the Wisconsin Republican party to the people’s White House.

  2. Why doesn’t the ABA do something about this? Are they just a feckless non-enforcing or progressive-boot-licking organization at this point?

  3. The Democrats are in deep denial that they have a problem. It will never be fixed if they won’t acknowledge it.

    Lenin did not believe in any Judeo-Christian morality. If an act advanced his cause, then it was moral and just, regardless if it involved murder, torture, or genocide.

  4. Jon Swaine (Washington Post, @jonswaine):
    “Last night, Trump adviser @JennaEllisEsq mocked @rickhasen for noting that Trump’s team had presumptuously signed a proposed court order with the judge’s name. They just re-filed it without the signature.” — copies of Ellis’s initial response, the earlier exhibit, and the updated exhibit attached

    Rick Hasen is a law professor at UC Irvine who specializes in election law. A number of lawyers had similar responses (e.g., “Effecting a federal judge’s electronic signature on your proposed order at any time, and especially before he has ruled on your motion, is something I’d recommend against”).

    This is now the second amended complaint in federal court in PA. Giuliani was widely criticized for his multiple mistakes in the hearing this week.

  5. I’m sorry, but we attorneys cannot go into court and make baseless claim after baseless claim. Rule 11. There are, and should be, professional consequences for doing so. There is nothing wrong with holding those Trump attorneys personally responsible for what they are doing. The Lincoln Project took an approach I would have not taken, but the Project’s idea that Trump’s attorneys should have professional consequences for what they are doing is not wrong.

    1. So, Paul K Ogden, should you be held professionally responsible for each client you represent? Should you be disbarred for filing a case that is dismissed? Should you be imprisoned for losing a case at the appellate level? Should you be hung for losing a case before the Supreme Court of the United States?

      Let’s make being an attorney a high-stakes game where if your client loses, you lose. What say you?

    2. It’s scary that Paul K Ogden is supposedly an attorney and believes that mob dox discipline should be dished out like this based on another attorney’s viewpoint of the case.

      1. Look at what Paul wrote–lawyers cannot file one lawsuit after another, knowing that there is no proof of the matters alleged, and for no good reason other than Trump is a sore loser. Trial Rules and the Rules of Professional Conduct forbid this abuse of the legal system. There has to be “good ground” to support claims made in a lawsuit of this sort. This is not a matter of “another attorney’s viewpoint of the case”: these cases are meritless–they don’t have any factual support, as judge after judge has determined, and yet, they keep filing, which is only feeding Trump’s disease. He needs therapy and medication, but instead, due to his vindictiveness, he bullies people into doing his bidding, including lawyers. There has to come a point when a lawyer’s license to practice is on the line. There are valid reasons why the law requires attorneys to make a reasonable investigation of the facts of a lawsuit before filing. Trump’s lawyers haven’t done that, or do it but file anyway, and they deserve scorn. They are professionals and are held to the standards of their profession. Their client is a sick man who needs help.

    3. I’m sorry, but we attorneys should not go into court and make baseless claim after baseless claim.

      There, FIFY.

      There is nothing wrong with holding those Trump attorneys personally responsible for what they are doing….but the Project’s idea that Trump’s attorneys should have professional consequences for what they are doing is not wrong.

      So which is it, personally responsible or professional consequences? Aren’t you attorney’s required to take continuing education on ethics? Yours seemed to have lapsed.

    4. “The Lincoln Project took an approach I would have not taken, but the Project’s idea that Trump’s attorneys should have professional consequences for what they are doing is not wrong.”
      I think this sentence is the one they use in the dictionary to illustrate the word “feckless.” As in: I didn’t think much of Lincoln and Booth “took an approach I would not have take, however stopping what Lincoln was doing was not wrong.

  6. This is a brilliant article by Mollie Hemingway:

    Trump’s 74 million supporters — knowing that their political opponents are willing to spy, fund and fabricate a dossier, push a “collusion” hoax, accuse a federal judge of being a serial gang rapist, run a “resistance” campaign throughout the federal government, manufacture an impeachment, use tech corporations to censor legitimate news about Biden family corruption, trash an economy, and lie about Trump’s standing with American voters through propaganda polls — now have a pretty good idea that election fraud is well within the realm of possibility. That would be true even if Democrats hadn’t spent much of the year working to ensure lowered scrutiny of mail-in ballots, which everyone knows are more susceptible to fraud than other ballots.

    If it takes a few weeks for these 74 million voters and their elected representatives to see if they can learn anything about election integrity and whether this election had it, the people who put them through four years of claims about “illegitimacy” can go ahead and sit down and wait.

    1. Never before is the word “brilliant” been used in conjunction with Mollie Hemingway. What she wrote is garbage, utter fabrication.

      1. What she wrote is garbage, utter fabrication.

        Well, since she went to great lengths quoting Tribe, I would have to agree that what Tribe said was garbage and utter fabrication. Bwahahahaha!

  7. The Democrat Party as always been the incubus in the American dream. If the Democrats steal those two Senate seats, America will die in her sleep.

    1. Lets be clear, when you say “steal”, you mean “win more votes”. GA has a Republican SoS, he will not be on board with cheating.

      1. Madame, I meant steal in the literal sense of the term, and Raffenberger is an unprincipled never-Trumper (like too many never-Trumpers).

  8. This episode would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. Look, Democrats have been committing fraud in predominantly black precincts for DECADES! They’ve been getting away with it for the very reasons illustrated in this blog – the threat that they would claim any opposition is “racist.” Race has become the primary political weapon of the Democratic Party, which is ironic since Democrats maintained power for nearly century by tactics that truly were racial. They wait until they see how many votes are needed for the Democrat to win then they dump enough votes plus a margin and no one calls them on it. This time they were caught. Now, we’ll see what happens. By the way, the two officials initially voted NOT to certify the election.

    1. There are an awful lot of unsubstantiated accusations in this article. I’m going to have to find a much larger grain of salt with which to take it.

  9. No honor in Republican office holders! Sore losers with no proof! Show the threats, put these two under oath and polygraph. And, worst, the Pres should not be calling anyone either…that is like Graham calling GA SoS. Remember…no one above law, Mr Law and Order…including him and cronies.

  10. What is missing in Turley call for order on vote certification in Wayne County is his predictable silence when Trump declared today: “Voter fraud in Detroit is rampant.” Turley insists he believes whatever errors might have occurred in Wayne County wouldn’t alter the outcome of Biden winning Michigan. So it’s utterly bizarre he would be bashful about responding to Trump yesterday proclaiming “I win Michigan!” Turley would clearly prefer attacking Biden for not defending Trump’s attorneys right to launch an endless series of frivolous lawsuits which generally get quickly get tossed out.

    Turley admonished Democrats for not allowing Republican canvassers to rescind their votes to certify election results, but seems unperturbed by Georgia Senate candidates Loeffler & Perdue demanding their state’s Republican Secretary of State resign after election results revealed Biden won Georgia. Turley has yet to comment on Mark Levin & other conservatives demanding Republican state legislatures ignore their state’s election results & only appoint electors who will vote for Trump in the Electoral College.

    Turley’s silence speaks loudly.

  11. Zoe Tillman (Buzzfeed):
    “New: Trump’s campaign is dropping its effort to stop Michigan from certifying results — there’s a court notice, affidavits, and Giuliani statement, and they all *contradict each other* (thread coming.) Regardless of what they say, though, this case is over

    Thread here:

  12. So two refuse to certify, then certify upon an agreement. The agreement seemingly falls apart and now they want rescind their signatures? There are two lessons.

    First: if the agreement is not followed up on, then Secretary Benson’s word is no good if that is what she agreed too. That should be remembered in the future.

    Second: You certified the election, now you cannot decertify because you are unhappy.

    More importantly, the personal attacks are going to backfire at some point. Calling people racist because it is easy will come back haunt. Score keepers are keeping count.

    As my grandmother used to say “Keep your words short and sweet in case you have to eat them.”

  13. Sadly, but predictably, the Left has politicized strategic violence. And it works. The Left demonstrated the ideology of political violence and intimidation earlier in the year in the Northwest, then in Wisconsin and Michigan, before falling tactically silent immediately preceding the election. The violent intimidation demonstrations nationwide all year have been strategic and politically effective. Should President Trump successfully overturn the election by demonstrating and proving unprecedented levels of premeditated fraud – the violence from the Left will come at a scale never before seen in America, short of the Civil War. The weakest in Washington know it and cower at the thought; it is the argument they use behind closed doors to pressure the President to concede. Pray that he does not.

    1. You have an overactive imagination.

      Trump’s lawyers haven’t even been alleging fraud in their lawsuits.

      1. Bizzarre argument.

        Why are we fighting over words in briefs that neither you nor I have read when we are all aware of atleast the major real world facts.

        We have conducted the most fraud prone form of election. And we have done so while deliberately ignoring the laws trying to catch some of that fraud.

        The rules were not followed – that is fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud.
        Public oversight was denied – fraud, conspiracy, obstruction.

        Are you honestly going to argue that republican and democratic precincts should do whatever they please ? And that they should do so without oversight ?

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