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.