Michigan Attorney General Resumes Threats Of Criminal Prosecution Against Those Alleging Voter Fraud

We have been discussing the use of the criminal code by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) to threaten people who post videos on alleged voter fraud or legislators who raise such objections in the state. These threats are coercive and abusive, particularly when targeting opponents of your party who are challenging the victory of your candidate for president. Yet, as shown by a congressman seeking to disbar dozens of Trump lawyers, such threats are popular in today’s rage-filled politics.  So, Nessel continued her threats of prosecution on Monday in warning that a former state senator could be prosecuted for alleging possible voter fraud at a meeting of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers.  So, raising voting fraud at the board overseeing voting is now a possible basis for prosecution in Michigan.

Former state Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) raised his concerns during the meeting. He was appropriately asked if he had brought his allegations of voter fraud to the state attorney general.  Julie Matuzak (D) asked “If you’re alleging fraud in this election, have you taken it to the attorney general, your evidence?” She noted that the board has little ability to investigate such claims. Colbeck responded “I’ve submitted my affidavits to lawyers, and we’ve moved it up the chain that way. I can submit it to anybody you’d like me to submit it to.”

Of course, many Republicans in the state may be a tad reluctant to reach out to Nessel given her threats of prosecution against citizens and legislators alike.

As if to fulfill that view, Nessel immediately responded with yet another threat of prosecution.  She noted that Colbeck “has never made a complaint of election fraud” to her office and then added “Colbeck’s assertions aside, intentionally making a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement is itself a crime. It’s been my experience that is often the reason certain reports are not made.”

 

Yet, the “reasons certain reports are not made” may have something to do with Nessel’s continued threat to prosecute people making such reports. That threat is directed not just at Colbeck but those who signed these affidavits. In other words, you must submit your allegations of fraud to me but I may prosecute you if you submit your allegations of fraud to me. Hardly an inviting prospect.

I tend to view these stories from the perspective of a criminal defense attorney. These citizens are coming forward to allege what they believe were instances of voter fraud. They may be wrong in what they perceived or what they believe is fraud. However, we want voters to feel free to come forward. Affidavits are signed on penalty of perjury. There are cases of such perjury cases or false police reports that are prosecuted.  However, one would think that Nessel would be encouraging submissions of such complaints to her office, not threatening those who may do so.

Nessel’s approach is akin to the state health director encouraging every one to come in for a check up but warning that some will be subject to euthanasia. The invitation is lost in the lingering threat.

While the Democrats and the media continue to raise threats against democracy, they are entirely oblivious to the implications Nessel’s use of the criminal code to threat those who question the victory of Joe Biden. They are equally silent (as is Biden himself) on a campaign of threats and intimidation against both lawyers and legislators questioning the election. It is part of a toxic atmosphere 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.

Nessel adds a particularly menacing element to this campaign in her use of her office to threaten prosecution against those who post videos on voting fraud, legislators who raise objections to the certification, or even voters who allege improprieties. Yet, she cannot understand why anyone would fail to contact her with allegations of voting irregularities.

162 thoughts on “Michigan Attorney General Resumes Threats Of Criminal Prosecution Against Those Alleging Voter Fraud”

  1. How does one tell that Dana Nessel is a Democrat?

    She is coercive and abusive using her position as AG to intimidate those that want Michigan to follow the law.

    Those that support Democrat control and don’t speak out against Nessel, by definition seek autocracy rather than democracy. Either that or they are scared as well.

    1. Anny-Could be he’s suffering from “The Three Faces Of Eve”? I wonder if “they” have conversations?

    2. Thanks, Anonymous. I detected an unusually abusive Anonymous who sounded like Allen. He can’t use his name now that Trump has lost.

  2. If the Michigan Attorney General is threatening prosecution, it has a chilling effect. There is more than what is said, there is also what is implied. That is as important as what is said. There can be reports and they be plain wrong, but reported in good faith. Should they prosecuted? That is what is implied. If you are wrong, you can be prosecuted. I am not sure what the problem actually is in this case because every election has issues and reports. It feels to me that certain individuals do not like being challenged and will respond harshly. Ultimately, when people are treated poorly or threatened, they do not go away, become angry and at some point respond themselves. Voters do not forget. I can only hope this is either being poorly reported or awkwardly worded. Because if she is truly threatening people, it will come back to haunt.

    1. “There can be reports and they be plain wrong, but reported in good faith. Should they prosecuted? ”

      No, they shouldn’t and wouldn’t be prosecuted, because it isn’t illegal to make a false report believing it to be true. Nor did Nessel suggest that it’s illegal.

      Focus on what she actually said: “intentionally making a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement is itself a crime” (emphasis added). Your example is not an example of someone “intentionally making a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement.” Yours is an example of someone intentionally making a claim that is unintentionally false.

      “That is what is implied”

      No, it isn’t.

      She’s referring to MI law:
      http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(rv4stgtdd1t4bttxrkpglikp))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-750-411a

  3. LIBERALS OPPRESSING CONSERVATIVES

    Johnathan Turley’s blog reminds of that movie “Groundhog Day”. Every day the column is about the tyranny liberals impose on very innocent conservatives. Oh these poor conservatives; kind Christian folks whose only concern is saving the unborn. They are endlessly abused by hate-spewing liberals.

    Said abuse gives conservatives the right to fight back with every dirty trick they can muster. In fact, Donald Trump’s entire presidency has been all about payback to liberals. But now the liberal tyranny resumes!

  4. Only one thing will stop someone like Nessel from these threats, and that is for the AG, to let her know that threats like she is making, are unlawful in and by themselves, and will not be tolerated.

    1. She didn’t make an unlawful threat.

      She pointed out that both federal and MI law allow prosecution if someone intentionally make a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement.

      Not sure why you object to her pointing out what the law is.

      1. You must be under the impression that she warns about false claims all the time. What she is doing is dangerous and repressing claims that are legal but that she may not like. I wonder how many times over the past 50 years people of her state have been prosecuted for making false claims.

  5. Turley often doesn’t quote people and then pretends that they’ve said something they didn’t say.

    Here, he actually quotes Nessel saying “intentionally making a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement is itself a crime” and then pretends that if someone mistakenly makes a false claim, it will be prosecuted as if it’s intentionally making a false claim.

    Even when he quotes people, he doesn’t pay attention to what the person actually said. SMH.

    1. Doesn’t it seem like Turley is standing in line for Rudy G’s “legal” team. It really makes no sense that Turley would step in the swamp so deep, if he wasn’t already on team Trump.

      1. Or maybe he is an honest man that does not like what he is witnessing. He has criticized the Trump administration plenty of times. One does not have to agree with the man to defend against perceived wrongs.

    2. Committed:

      “Turley often doesn’t quote people and then pretends that they’ve said something they didn’t say.

      Here, he actually quotes Nessel saying “intentionally making a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement is itself a crime” and then pretends that if someone mistakenly makes a false claim, it will be prosecuted as if it’s intentionally making a false claim.

      Even when he quotes people, he doesn’t pay attention to what the person actually said. SMH.”
      ***************************************
      Oh, you can make an intentional complaint (i.e. you intend to make the complaint) and do so under a false impression and that would render you innocent under this statute due to lack of mens rea. And, you can make an unintentional complaint such as when an officer overhears your intentionally false complaint but you intended to keep it private with your intended listener and you are likewise exempt from conviction because you didn’t intend to publish the complaint to law enforcement.

      So, when you see all those heads saking and if theyre lawyers, they’re shaking their heads at you. Like Gainesville, you ought to learn to play in the minors before you take an AB in the majors.

    3. Notably CTHD, Turley never mentioned a problem with Trump publicly trying to get Barr to arrest Biden and Obama so his claimed concern for “coercive and abusive threats” is complete BS. He’s Team Trump all the way, all the time and should stop the farce.

  6. I think anyone who ever signs an affidavit says it is done under penalty of perjury, and a false statement may subject them to criminal penalties.

    So is Jonathan saying people should not be told that when they sign an affidavit? Is it only when a Democratic Attorney General points out possible criminal penalties for false statements that it is a problem?

  7. So Jonathan, does this open any legal avenues on the election like voter intimidation, obstruction of justice or something else?

  8. It has been about a week and a half since Sidney Powell went on news programs and alleged a broad international conspiracy involving Dominion, Chávez, etc. She claims to have a firehouse of evidence. She had press conferences with Rudy alleging this same stuff.

    Another day has gone by and still no evidence from her. It seems this was not a sincere effort to bring fraud to the attention of the public, but just an effort to muddy things up in the public minds enough that Republican legislators in key states could steal the election. That plan does not seem to have worked, by what Sidney has been doing is fraud on the public. She should be held accountable.

    1. “Another day has gone by and still no evidence from [Sidney Powell]. It seems this was not a sincere effort . . .”

      Said the person who thinks that a complex case is like microwave popcorn.

    2. LSU, think for a minute about how the legal process works. I am not expecting evidence to be provided prior to the filing of a complaint.

  9. Nessel & DEM’s are truly afraid at an audit, investigation and court about the elections. She uses threats to try and stop any challenge or people looking at what really happened She is Mad Power Hungry Tyrant AG who will have no career after this. How anyone can vote for her or her side kick Whittmer is beyond me. Both will be rejected by voters.

    It would be nice to see Trump win in court vs AG & DEMS. Michigan Supreme Court and US Supreme Court will not stand for Nessel’s threats.

  10. Some people that support politicians like Dana Nessel would rather arrest people claiming voter fraud than people burning down a building. They want to arrest folks that have 11 people over for a holiday and not the 100 people looting a shoe store or a Best Buy.

    Thanksgiving is a crime…a Biden rally is a right. Lori Lightfoot screaming into a bullhorn at a MOB OF PEOPLE is ok, having an aunt over for turkey is a crime. This is the left!

  11. The State of Michigan has a statute that makes making a false claim of criminal activity a crime. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(hg0sz4fwixwpwbf35sp4kujf))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-750-411a

    It would seem that the Trump “ law and order” crowd only likes “law and order” when they apply it someone else. There should be no surprise here. This isn’t about “free speech”. It’s about breaking Michigan Law. It’s about lying.

    The lawyers For Trump who engaged in the filing of groundless pleading with the courts should also be held accountable by their local bars and held in contempt by the courts to whom they lied. . They violated their obligations of Candor to the Court. Such behavior can result in disbarment.

    1. Turley wants his Trump base to believe that submitting false information and lying to the court is somehow against free speech.

    2. Justice Holmes;

      “The State of Michigan has a statute that makes making a false claim of criminal activity a crime.

      It would seem that the Trump “ law and order” crowd only likes “law and order” when they apply it someone else.”
      ***********************
      No they just like it properly applied. Hopefully, your clients don’t get this kind of incomplete, simplistic analysis of criminal law. The crime you cite requires mens rea — the mental intent to do wrong — and good faith allegations of fraud (i.e., some basis in perceived fact like an affidavit signed under oath) are not subject to criminal penalties. I think we got that about Day 2 in law school. You and Nessie here must have been absent.

        1. Corade friday (alleged Russian troll):

          Well, the day is young, Comrade. Fraud takes time to prove and has a higher standard of proof than other civil claims and the highest standard of proof in criminal fraud cases. You know I used to wonder how Reagan beat the Russians. After reading your stuff, I wonder no more.

      1. Mespo, the problem with your assertion is that they ARE deliberately using false claims. Most of the time trump lawyers claim they have evidence, but when pressed by a judge they admit they don’t. There’s your mens rea.

        Giuliani himself keeps claiming voter fraud, but in court itself he admits his lawsuits are NOT about voter fraud. Clearly he’s intentionally trying to admit false testimony of a crime.

        1. Sevy:
          Mespo, the problem with your assertion is that they ARE deliberately using false claims.”
          ********************
          Prove it’s false and that they know it is false at the time of assertion or that it lacks any basis in law of fact. That’s the standard. A signed affidavit solves all those problems. Come ‘on, man, you’re smarter than Biden.

          1. When Trump tools make the fraud claim repeatedly in public, but in court, you know it’s false. Well, not mespo, but he still thinks Trump won.

  12. Free speech is wonderful. I full support free speech and agree there is far too much talk of criminalizing speech that offends. However. I think it is a crime to yell FRAUD in the midst of an election. Jail time? Perhaps not. However how about a $1000 fine for each claim of FRAUD that cannot be backed up. Yelling FRAUD in the midst of an election, or leading up to an election is harmful to democracy. It needs to stop.

    1. Wish I had a thousand dollars for every time someone said Russian collusion in the last four years.

  13. Turley links but does not include Nessel’s full quote in her tweeted response.

    “I can confirm that Patrick Colbeck has never made a complaint of election fraud to the MIchigan Dept of Attorney General. If he had, we would have fully investigated said claim.”

    She then goes on to say false allegations may have legal consequences. Helllooo.

    Does she not live in a state and the rest of us a country where there has been an organized effort to undermine our recent election, led by the President Deselected, by claiming fraud which has not been proven anywhere and which the President’s lawyers have purposely not alleged in court? Enablers like Turley want this destructive nonsense to continue without consequence and no penalty for those tying up our institutions.

    Turley, you lost. Be a man, own it, and pick a better candidate next time.

  14. Good for Nessel!

    There should be consequences for violating clear bar ethics rules. The ABA’s model Rule 3.1 states that a “lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous.” Indeed, lawyers are required “inform themselves about the facts of their clients’ cases and the applicable law,” which none of the President’s lawyers appear to have done.

    Moreover, lawyers have “a duty not to abuse legal procedure,” and under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, lawyers also may not sue “for an improper purpose” such as causing “unnecessary delay.”

    These rules apply to everyone — even Krakens.

    1. Criminal punishment for “violating bar ethics rules?” Is this the new America you want?

    2. “Good for Nessel!

      “There should be consequences for violating clear bar ethics rules.”
      *************************
      Well, we’re talking about criminal penalties not ethical sanctions which, by the way, don’t apply either under a myriad of state decisions. But then again a self-proclaimed ethicist might be expected to know that. Thank god the Left is so patently dumb lest we start to believe any of what they say.

      1. Mespo, you assured us numerous times that Trump was going to win. Not the he had a chance and you hoped he would. No, he was going to win and therefore the rightness of whatever you were arguing on a particular day was correct.

        You have no standing for comments about how dumb other posters are, except in self recognition.

    3. The model rules have not been adopted in all states. Nor do the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure apply in all cases. You must know that if you actually went to law school.

  15. JT: “It is part of a toxic atmosphere where Democratic members are calling for blacklists and others denounce any questioning of the Biden victory as akin to “Holocaust denial.”

    We will never forget those who enabled Trumpism or otherwise stood silent. Those who have made their bed must lie in it. They deserve to be shunned and ostracized so that Trumpism will not happen again. You, too, Professor Turley will have to answer for your “What aboutism.” As if 2 wrongs make a right. You will suffer the humiliation when years from now documentaries about Trumpism inevitably will present videos of your Fox commentaries on Hannity, Carlson, et.al., along with the ravings of the likes of Mark Levin, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani all of whose legacies will be excrement.

    1. You should read up on the Chinese cultural revolution. For instance, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. You’ll find yourself in it.

    2. Jeffrey, go read about Joe McCarthy and then suddenly see him when you look in the mirror. Turley will “have to answer” says the person claiming to want freedom of speech and support of the Bill of Rights.

      This is the new left, wannabe tyrants, small thinkers, bullies and abusers of any power that the people mistakenly give them. These are the folks that want you to call the police on neighbors with 11 people over for a holiday as they dine at the French Laundry. These are the people that arrest Jews for congregating as they celebrate huge crowds celebrating Joe Biden. These are the people that want to arrest you for going to see your parents and yet will not arrest those that run up to your mother at an outdoor restaurant and scream in her face. This is Jeffrey!

      1. Reveal your true identity, and I’ll answer you. Unlike you *brave* commentators who hide behind pseudonyms, I am not afraid to be held accountable for my postings by name.

            1. SCOTT, that lawyer is not me though I wish because he is better looking and earns much more money! That is my true name however. Why should I be afraid to post it? If everyone WERE required to post in their real name, there no longer would be such trolling. I would be in favor of mandating that one had to prove one’s identity whenever one participates online. The lack of accountability is the reason that the internet is a cesspool.

        1. Jeffrey, I’m sure a lot of people will be given opportunity to answer questions sooner or later. Hope they show bravery and don’t hide behind the 5th. The wheels of justice…

        2. Notice that Jeff DOES NOT actually respond, he just cries like a little boy. The reason that conservatives want to keep a little anonymity is shown by the very column we are commenting on. GET IT? We have a state AG that wants to CRIMINALIZE stating your opinion that there was fraud. Little boys like Jeff want to cancel people form their comments. Little boys like Jeff want to get you fired for your opinion. Little boys like Jeff sit with the majority of cancellers and then proudly claim the other side is afraid.

          It is the Little Jeffs of the world that cozied up to the popular kids in high school hoping and “praying” that they would ignore him as they attacked others.

      2. And another thing “whoever you are”, as a 3-star Michelin restaurant, the French Laundry IS to die for! I would gladly return there again and risk my life exposing myself to COVID if only I could get a reservation….

        1. Jeffrey:

          “And another thing “whoever you are”, as a 3-star Michelin restaurant, the French Laundry IS to die for! I would gladly return there again and risk my life exposing myself to COVID if only I could get a reservation…”
          *************************************

          Is it in the castellated abbey of the “happy and dauntless and sagacious” Prince Prospero?

    3. You should probably care how they get him out, if for some reason Biden does get the Presidency. If for any reason force is used, then a overwhelming counter force will react and America will have it’s civil war. It’s a shame really that our country has become so divided. Thank Obama for that. Eight years of constant attacks on conservatives and republicans. Calling them nazis and bitter clingers. News Media parroting the democratic talking points and name calling as well as de-legitimizing concerns and grievances of 75 + million voters. You call yourself an American yet you and everyone else on here running their mouths don’t even stop to think of the hate being spewed. 8 years of Obama and the right was not looting and rioting in the streets. They swallowed their pride and put up with the left’s hate and vile actions. Trump gets elected and the left doesn’t even try to swallow their pride and put up with it. They spend the next 3 years lobbing accusation after phoney accusation against a man that did not take a penny in pay to be president and put his career on hold to try and lead the country in the right direction. This last year has been nothing but lockdowns and riots from the left over a virus with a 99.6% survival rate and phony systemic police brutality. The right wasn’t rioting and looting fellow Americans. Yet you loathe them and the man they elected. How about you pause and reflect on yourself and what you’re teaching people around you.

    1. Steve:
      Oh, she’s no fool. She’s a preprogrammed missile aimed right at our democracy. We can thank our permissive culture, perverse institutions of higher learning and toxic political situation for the guidance system.

      1. Mespo, Michigan state law specifically makes it a crime to make false claims in court. Free speech is still intact. But in Michigan there are legal consequences if there are deliberate attempts at introducing knowingly false claims as evidence.

        1. Svalez, you won’t get anywhere stating facts or the law in Michigan. Trump supporters do not like any kind of break from their alternative reality.

          1. FishWings, at this point it’s all kinds of snowflakey tantrums, and despondent denial of reality. He lost. Every judge, even his own appointed judges are lambasting the stupidity of these claims.

            What I find especially ironic is that these shenanigans are proving to all that claims of massive voter fraud are a farce. They keep providing evidence of its rarity.

        2. Svelaz:

          And of course, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about Javert issuing a political statement that chills reporting of a potential crime as all reports to law enforcement are.

          1. Mespo, stating a state law that specifically makes it illegal to intentionally make false claims about a crime a crime is not a free speech issue. It’s a legal one.

            1. Sevy:

              “Mespo, stating a state law that specifically makes it illegal to intentionally make false claims about a crime a crime is not a free speech issue. It’s a legal one.”
              **********************
              Yeah and those myriad free speech cases criminalizing other kind of free speech aren’t “legal ones” either. You’re just precious. LOL

        3. Svelaz:

          Hopefully, you’re not a lawyer with that kind of legal analysis. That’d get you a grade of “incomplete” in most law schools. Look up mens rea.

        4. Svelaz,

          “Mespo, Michigan state law specifically makes it a crime to make false claims in court.”

          Was O.J. Simpson tried in Michigan? Did Slick Willy have sex with that woman? Did Hillary “ME-galomaniac” Clinton wipe it with a brush and dodge gunfire in Bosnia? Did Chief Liar Roberts tell us that “state” meant “federal” and “federal” meant “state” with reference to the Obamacare “exchanges?”

          Of course, if we didn’t have LIES, we wouldn’t have courts, which are cesspools of lies.

    2. The First Amendment doesn’t protect people from being prosecuted for breaking a speech-related laws, such as 18 U.S. Code § 1621 and 18 U.S. Code § 1001.

      1. Anonymous, this is so far removed from the actual subject, that you should be embarrassed to post it. C’mon man!

        1. Cherry Blossom, if you were able to follow a conversation, you’d know that it was posted in response to Steve Witherspoon saying that “Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is a damn fool and doesn’t understand the first Amendment of the United States Constitution” and not off topic.

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